Aspergillus Felis Sp. Nov., an Emerging Agent of Invasive Aspergillosis in Humans, Cats, and Dogs

PLoS One. 2013 Jun 14;8(6):e64871. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0064871. Print 2013.


We describe a novel heterothallic species in Aspergillus section Fumigati, namely A. felis (neosartorya-morph) isolated from three host species with invasive aspergillosis including a human patient with chronic invasive pulmonary aspergillosis, domestic cats with invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and a dog with disseminated invasive aspergillosis. Disease in all host species was often refractory to aggressive antifungal therapeutic regimens. Four other human isolates previously reported as A. viridinutans were identified as A. felis on comparative sequence analysis of the partial β-tubulin and/or calmodulin genes. A. felis is a heterothallic mold with a fully functioning reproductive cycle, as confirmed by mating-type analysis, induction of teleomorphs within 7 to 10 days in vitro and ascospore germination. Phenotypic analyses show that A. felis can be distinguished from the related species A. viridinutans by its ability to grow at 45°C and from A. fumigatus by its inability to grow at 50°C. Itraconazole and voriconazole cross-resistance was common in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology
  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillosis / veterinary*
  • Aspergillus / drug effects
  • Aspergillus / isolation & purification
  • Aspergillus / physiology*
  • Caspofungin
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cats
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / microbiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / microbiology*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Fungal
  • Echinocandins / pharmacology
  • Fluconazole / pharmacology
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Humans
  • Lipopeptides
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Multilocus Sequence Typing
  • Phylogeny
  • Rhinitis / microbiology
  • Rhinitis / veterinary*
  • Sinusitis / microbiology
  • Sinusitis / veterinary*


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Echinocandins
  • Lipopeptides
  • Fluconazole
  • Caspofungin

Grant support

This study was funded by an Endeavour Research Fellowship awarded by the Australian Government to one of the authors (VRB) (, The Australian Companion Animal Health Foundation and the Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures- Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen (CBS-KNAW) Fungal Biodiversity Centre, Utrecht, The Netherlands. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.