Disseminated Rasamsonia argillacea species complex infections in 8 dogs

J Vet Intern Med. 2021 Sep;35(5):2232-2240. doi: 10.1111/jvim.16244. Epub 2021 Aug 13.


Background: Clinical features, treatment, and outcome of opportunistic infections with Rasamsonia spp., a nonpigmented filamentous mold, are not well documented in dogs.

Objectives: Describe clinical, radiographic, pathologic features, and outcome of dogs with disseminated Rasamsonia species complex infections.

Animals: Eight client-owned dogs.

Methods: Retrospective case series. Medical records were reviewed to describe signalment, history, clinicopathologic and imaging findings, microbiologic and immunologic results, cyto- and histopathologic diagnoses, treatment, and outcome.

Results: Presenting complaints were nonspecific with anorexia (n = 5) and back pain (n = 4) most common. Five dogs were German Shepherd dogs. Six dogs had multifocal discospondylitis and 2 had pleural effusion. Six dogs had Rasamsonia piperina and 2 had Rasamsonia argillacea infections with isolates identified using DNA sequencing. Rasamsonia spp. were isolated by urine culture in 5 of 7 dogs. Five of 6 dogs had positive serum Aspergillus galactomannan antigen enzyme immunoassay (EIA) results. Median survival time was 82 days, and 317 days for dogs that survived to discharge. Four died during initial hospitalization (median survival, 6 days). All isolates had low minimum effective concentrations (MECs) to echinocandins with variable minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for azole antifungal drugs.

Conclusions and clinical importance: Rasamsonia spp. infections in dogs are associated with multisystemic disease involving the vertebral column, central nervous system, kidneys, spleen, lymph nodes, lungs, and heart. The infection shares clinical features with other systemic mold infections and can be misidentified when using phenotypical microbiologic methods. Molecular techniques are required to identify the organism and guide appropriate antifungal treatment.

Keywords: Rasamsonia; canine; discospondylitis; fungal; microbiology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dog Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Eurotiales*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antifungal Agents

Supplementary concepts

  • Rasamsonia argillacea
  • Rasamsonia piperina