Objective: To determine effects of lufenuron treatment in cats on the establishment and course of Microsporum canis infection following exposure to infected cats.
Design: Experimental trial.
Animals: 24 healthy juvenile domestic shorthair cats.
Procedure: 8 cats were given lufenuron PO (133 mg/cat/mo, equivalent to a dose of 100 to 130 mg/kg [45 to 59 mg/lb] at the beginning of the study and 25 to 35 mg/kg [11 to 16 mg/lb] at the end of the study), and 8 were given lufenuron SC (40 mg every 6 months). The remaining 8 were used as untreated control cats. After 4 months, cats were challenged by the introduction of cats with mild, experimentally induced M canis infection into the rooms where cats were housed. Extent of resulting infections in the naïve cats was monitored for 22 weeks by physical examination and fungal culture.
Results: All lufenuron-treated and control cats became infected with M canis. Cats treated with lufenuron had significantly lower infection scores, compared with control cats, during the early weeks following exposure, and there was a more prolonged initial progression phase of the infection. Once infections reached peak intensity, they resolved over similar periods in lufenuron-treated and control cats.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggested that oral or SC administration of lufenuron to cats, at the dosages used and under the conditions of this study, did not prevent establishment of dermatophytosis following exposure to infected cats. Infection was established more slowly among cats treated with lufenuron, but once established, infection resolved in approximately the same amount of time in lufenuron-treated as in control cats.