Sporotrichosis: The Emerging Fungal Threats to Animals

  • Shiv Shanker Gautam
  • Navneet
  • Neelesh Babu
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


Sporotrichosis is a chronic granulomatous mycotic infection caused by Sporothrix schenckii, the saprophytic dimorphic fungi frequently seen in cats, dogs, horses, camels, fowls, rats, mice, hamsters, chimpanzees and humans. Cats have the severe form of cutaneous sporotrichosis and can be severe as animal transmission (cat–cat or cat–dog) and zoonotic infection (cat–human) spread by the contact of exposed areas or skin lesions. Sporothrix schenckii is distributed worldwide mainly in the tropical and subtropical regions having high humidity of 80–100% and mild temperature around 20–27 °C. This disease is documented in small outbreaks of American and Asian continents, Australia, Spain, Japan, South Africa, Germany and India. Sporothrix schenckii lives in soil and on plant matter, such as sphagnum moss, rose bushes and hay. Usually, this disease is associated with minor skin cuts and scrapes via contact with plants or soil and less frequently by inhalation of conidia. Sporothrix schenckii causes lesions in the infected sites to become more severe by animal scratches and dissemination of fungus, resulting in internal organ involvement, including lymph nodes, lungs and liver. Extracutaneous signs include sneezing, dyspnoea, nasal discharge, congestion and mucosa involvement. The diagnosis of infection includes cytological examination of exudates, histological examination of biopsy samples or fungal cultural characteristics. Treatment for disease needs long-term administration of broad-spectrum antifungal drugs, including itraconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole and amphotericin B. Potassium or sodium iodide can be used in cutaneous and lymphocutaneous forms. The incidence of drug resistance is important for adjusting antifungal therapy and finding a newer drug to treat sporotrichosis. Plant-derived drugs may be an alternative approach for curing sporotrichosis and combating antifungal drug resistance.


Antifungal drugs Dimorphic Feline sporotrichosis Host–pathogen interaction Plant-derived drugs Sporotrichosis Sporothrix schenckii 


  1. Addy JH (1992) Disseminated cutaneous sporotrichosis associated with anergic immuno-suppression due to military tuberculosis. West Afr J Med 11(3):216–220PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Agarwal S, Gopal K, Kumar B (2008) Sporotrichosis in Uttarakhand (India): a report of nine cases. Int J Dermatol 47(4):367–371. Scholar
  3. Akhtar MM, Srivastava S, Sinha P, Singh DK, Luqman S, Tandon S, Yadav NP (2014) Antimicrobial potential of topical formulation containing essential oil of Eucalyptus citriodora Hook. Ann Phytomed 3(1):37–42Google Scholar
  4. Almeida-Paes R, Pimenta MA, Monteiro PCF, Nosanchuk JD, Zancope-Oliveira RM (2007) Immunoglobulins G, M and A against Sporothrix schenckii exoantigens in patients with sporotrichosis before and during treatment with itraconazole. Clin Vaccine Immunol 14(9):1149–1157PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Apisariyakul A, Vanittanakom N, Buddhasukh D (1995) Antifungal activity of turmeric oil extracted from Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae). J Ethnopharmacol 49(3):163–169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aronson NE (1992) Disseminated sporotrichosis. JAMA 268(15):2021PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Aung AK, Spelman DW, Thompson PJ (2015) Pulmonary sporotrichosis: an evolving clinical paradigm. In seminars in respiratory and critical care medicine. Thieme Med Publ 36(5):756–766Google Scholar
  8. Barros MBDL, Schubach ADO, do Valle ACF, Galhardo MCG, Conceição-Silva F, Schubach TMP, Conceicao MJ (2004) Cat-transmitted sporotrichosis epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: description of a series of cases. Clin Infect Dis 38(4):529–535PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Barros MB, Paes RDA, Schubach AO (2011) Sporothrix schenckii and sporotrichosis. Clin Microbiol Rev 24(4):633–654PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bonifaz A, Tirado-Sanchez A (2017) Cutaneous disseminated and extracutaneous sporotrichosis: current status of a complex disease. J Fungi 3(1):6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bonifaz A, Vazquez-Gonzalez D (2010) Sporotrichosis: an update. G Ital Dermatol Venereol 145(5):659–673PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Bonifaz A, Toriello C, Araiza J, Ramirez-Soto MC, Tirado-Sanchez A (2018) Sporotrichin skin test for the diagnosis of sporotrichosis. J Fungi 4(2):55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cafarchia C, Sasanelli M, Lia RP, De Caprariis D, Guillot J, Otranto D (2007) Lymphocutaneous and nasal sporotrichosis in a dog from Southern Italy: case report. Mycopathologia 163:75–79PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Casadevall A, Pirofski LA (2003) The damage-response framework of microbial pathogenesis. Nat Rev Microbiol 1:17–24PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. CDC (2018) Sporotrichosis at Retrieved on 25 Sept 2018
  16. CFSPH (2013) Technical fact sheets. Sporotrichosis. DiseaseInfo/retrieved on 24 Sept 2018
  17. Chakrabarti A, Bonifaz A, Gutierrez-Galhardo MC, Mochizuki T, Li S (2015) Global epidemiology of sporotrichosis. Med Mycol 53(1):3–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Costa OR, Macedo PMD, Rodrigues AM, Bernardes-Engemann AR (2017) Sporotrichosis: an update on epidemiology, etiopathogenesis, laboratory and clinical therapeutics. An Bras Dermatol 92(5):606–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Damian-badillo LM, Salgado-Garciglia R, Martínez-Munoz RE, Martínez-Pacheco MM (2008) Antifungal properties of some Mexican medicinal plants. Open Nat Prod J 1:27–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Davis HH, Worthington WE (1964) Equine sporotrichosis. J Am Vet Med Assoc 145(1):692–693PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Fatima A, Gupta VK, Luqman S, Negi AS, Kumar JK, Shanker K, Saikia D, Srivastava S, Darokar MP, Khanuja SPS (2009) Antifungal activity of Glycyrrhiza glabra extracts and its active constituent glabridin. Phytother Res 23(8):1190–1193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fernandes GF, Lopes-Bezerra LM, Bernardes-engemann AR, Schubach TMP, Dias MAG, Pereira SA, Pires de Camargo Z (2011) Serodiagnosis of sporotrichosis infection in cats by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using a specific antigen, ScCBF, and crude exoantigens. Vet Microbiol 147:445–449PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gremiao IDF, Menezes RC, Schubach TMP, Figueiredo ABF, Cavalcanti MCH, Pereira SA (2015) Feline sporotrichosis: epidemiological and clinical aspects. Med Mycol 53:15–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Guarro J, Gene J, Stchigel AM (1999) Developments in fungal taxonomy. Clin Microbiol Rev 12:454–500PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hassan K, Turker T, Zangeneh T (2016) Disseminated sporotrichosis in an immunocompetent patient. Case Rep Plast Surg Hand Surg 3(1):44–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hernandez CJE, Silva JA, Toussaint-Caire S, Arenas R (2014) Disseminated sporotrichosis with cutaneous and testicular involvement. Actas Dermosifiliogr 105(2):204–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hu S, Chung WH, Hung SI, Ho HC, Wang ZW, Chen CH et al (2003) Detection of Sporothrix schenckii in clinical samples by a nested PCR assay. J Clin Microbiol 41(4):1414–1418PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ishizaki H, Nakamura Y, Kariya H, Iwatsu T, Wheat R (1976) Delayed hypersensitivity cross-reactions between Sporothrix schenckii and ceratocystis species in sporotrichotic patients. J Clin Microbiol 3(6):545–547PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Joshi S, Mishra D, Bisht G, Khetwal KS (2011) Essential oil composition and antimicrobial activity of Lobelia pyramidalis Wall. EXCLI J 10:274–279PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  30. Jungerman PF, Schwartzman RM (1972) The dermatophytoses in veterinary medical mycology. Lea and Febiger, Philadelphia, pp 3–28Google Scholar
  31. Kauffman CA (1999) Sporotrichosis. Clin Infect Dis 29:231–237PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kikuchi I, Morimoto K, Kawana S, Tanuma H (2006) Usefulness of itraconazole for sporotrichosis in Japan: study of three cases and literature comparison of therapeutic effects before and after release on the market. Eur J Dermatol 16(1):42–47PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Larone DH (2002) Medically important fungi: a guide to identification, 4th edn. ASM Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  34. Luqman S, Dwivedi GR, Darokar MP, Kalra A, Khanuja SPS (2007) Potential of rosemary oil to be used in drug-resistant infections. Altern Ther Health Med 13(5):54–59PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Morris JR (2002) Sporotrichosis. Clin Exp Dermatol 27:427–431CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Morris JR, Youngchim S, Gomez BL, Aisen P, Hay RJ, Nosanchuk JD, Casadevall A, Hamilton AJ (2003) Synthesis of melanin-like pigments by Sporothrix schenckii in vitro and during mammalian infection. Infect Immun 71(7):4026–4033CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pereira SA, Menezes RC, Gremiao IDF (2015) Sporotrichosis in animals: zoonotic transmission. In: Sporotrichosis: new developments and future prospects. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 83–103. Scholar
  38. Reed KD, Moore FM, Geiger GE, Stemper ME (1993) Zoonotic transmission of sporotrichosis: case report and review. Clin Infect Dis 16(3):384–387PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rippon JW (1982) Medical mycology; the pathogenic fungi and the pathogenic actinomycetes. WB Saunders Company, EastbourneGoogle Scholar
  40. Rippon J (1988) Sporotrichosis. In: Rippon J (ed) Medical 652 Barros et al. Clin. Microbiol. Rev. Mycology – the pathogenic fungi and the pathogenic actinomycetes, 3rd edn. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia, pp 325–352Google Scholar
  41. Rodrigues AM, de Hoog GS, de Camargo ZP (2016) Sporothrix species causing outbreaks in animals and humans driven by animal–animal transmission. PLoS Pathog 12(7):e1005638PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Roets F, Wingfield BD, De Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ, Dreyer LL (2010) Two new Ophiostoma species from Protea caffra in Zambia. Persoonia 24:18–28PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rojas R, Bustamante B, Bauer J, Fernandez I, Alban J, Lock O (2003) Antimicrobial activity of selected Peruvian medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 88(2–3):199–204PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Saikia D, Khanuja SPS, Kahol AP, Gupta SC, Kumar S (2001) Comparative antifungal activity of essential oils and constituents from three distinct genotypes of Cymbopogon spp. Curr Sci 80(10):1264–1266Google Scholar
  45. Scheufen S, Strommer S, Weisenborn J, Berninghoff EP, Thom N, Bauer N, Kohler K, Ewers C (2015) Clinical manifestation of an amelanotic Sporothrix schenckii complex isolate in a cat in Germany. JMM Case Rep 4(2).
  46. Schubach TM, Schubach A, Okamoto T, Barros MB, Figueiredo FB, Cuzzi T, Wanke B (2006) Canine sporotrichosis in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: clinical presentation, laboratory diagnosis and therapeutic response in 44 cases (1998–2003). Sabouraudia 44(1):87–92CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sharon J, Shlezinger N (2013) Fungi infecting plants and animals: killers, non-killers, and cell death. PLoS Pathog 9(8):e1003517PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Srinivasan A, Lopez-Ribot JL, Ramasubramanian AK (2014) Overcoming antifungal resistance. Drug Discov Today Technol 11:1–116. Scholar
  49. Valle AL, Valentin-Berrios S, Gonzalez-Mendez RR, Rodriguez-del Valle N (2007) Functional, genetic and bioinformatic characterization of a calcium/calmodulin kinase gene in Sporothrix schenckii. BMC Microbiol 7(1):107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Verastegui A, Verde J, García S, Heredia N, Oranday A, Rivas C (2008) Species of Agave with antimicrobial activity against selected pathogenic bacteria and fungi. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 24:1249–1252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Vettorato R, Heidrich D, Fraga F, Ribeiro AC, Pagani DM, Timotheo C et al (2018) Sporotrichosis by Sporothrix schenckii senso stricto with itraconazole resistance and terbinafine sensitivity observed in vitro and in vivo: case report. Med Mycol Case Rep 19:18–20PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Waller SB, Madrid IM, Ferraz V, Picoli T, Cleff MB, Osorio de Faria R, Meireles MCA, Braga de Mello JR (2016) Cytotoxicity and anti-Sporothrix brasiliensis activity of the Origanum majorana Linn. oil. Braz J Microbiol 47(4):896–901PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wen L, Haddad M, Fernandez I, Espinoza G, Ruiz C, Neyra E, Bustamante B, Rojas R (2011) Actividad antifungica de cuatro plantas usadas en la medicina tradicional peruana. Aislamiento de 3′-formil-2′4′6′-trihidroxihidrochalcona, principio activo de Psidium acutangulum. Rev Soc Quim Peru 77(3):199–204Google Scholar
  54. Zhang Y, Hagen F, Stielow B, Rodrigues AM, Samerpitak K, Zhou X, Feng P, Yang L, Chen M, Deng S, Li S, Liao W, Li R, Li F, Meis JF, Guarro J, Teixeira M, Al-Zahrani HS, Camargo ZP, Zhang L, de Hoog GS (2015) Phylogeography and evolutionary patterns in Sporothrix spanning more than 14000 human and animal case reports. Persoonia 35:1–20. doi:10.3767/00315 8515x687416Google Scholar
  55. Zhou X, de Beer ZW, Wingfield MJ (2006) DNA sequence comparisons of Ophiostoma spp., including Ophiostoma aurorae sp. nov., associated with pine bark beetles in South Africa. Stud Mycol 55:269–277PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shiv Shanker Gautam
    • 1
  • Navneet
    • 2
  • Neelesh Babu
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyDev Bhoomi Group of InstitutionsDehradunIndia
  2. 2.Department of Botany and MicrobiologyGurukul Kangri UniversityHaridwarIndia

Personalised recommendations