Conjunctival Fungal Flora in Healthy Donkeys

Vet Ophthalmol. Jul-Aug 2007;10(4):207-10. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-5224.2007.00537.x.


Objective: To identify and quantify ocular fungi from healthy donkeys living in the center of Italy.

Animals studied: One hundred and two Amiata donkeys were examined.

Procedures: Conjunctival swabs from both eyes were seeded onto Sabouraud dextrose agar (SDA) and malt extract agar (MEA), and incubated at 25 degrees C over a 10-day period. Filamentous fungi identification was achieved to the genus level; yeast colonies were identified for macro-micromorphologic and physiological characteristics.

Results: Eighty-one donkeys out of 102 (79.4%) were positive for fungi; 47/102 (46.1%) had positive cultures from both eyes. Most frequently recovered fungal genera were Aspergillus spp., Penicillium spp., Cladosporium spp., Acremonium spp. Different fungal genera and/or species were recovered from the same donkey in 43 cases (42.1%). Yeasts were isolated from five subjects; the yeasts were never associated with molds. The number of colony forming units (CFU) ranged from 1 to 100.

Conclusions: Aspergillus was the most commonly isolated fungal genus (33%). This result agrees with the findings of similar surveys carried out in horses. There was a remarkable presence of fungi and perfect forms. These observations may be explained by the optimal conditions for presence and development of fungi in the conjunctival fornix microenvironment in Amiata donkeys.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification
  • Conjunctiva / microbiology*
  • Equidae / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mitosporic Fungi / isolation & purification*