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Fungal diseases are important in veterinary pathology because of the zoonotic nature of most of these processes, the losses they cause in production animals and finally the fact that they can seriously affect protected species.

Because most of the potentially pathogenic fungi for man and animals are saprophytes, their isolation from an injury does not necessarily imply that they are responsible for the pathological process, leading to the search for new diagnostic methods, among which Serogroups are among the simplest, most economical and fastest.

How does it work

We have developed an indirect ELISA methodology that allows the determination of high levels of IgG antibodies against different fungi in infected animals. The main problem that arises is the discrimination between animals that have simply been in contact with the fungus and those that have really been infected and therefore are sick.

We have managed to fine-tune our methodology for the diagnosis of systemic mycoses in the case of: dog, cat, sheep (aspergillary mastitis) and cattle (aspergillary abortion and zygomycetes).


The clinical diagnosis of animal systemic mycoses is really complicated to do, mainly due to the non-specific symptoms, which make the clinical practitioner only think about a process of fungal etiology in the very advanced stages of the disease, when the therapeutic solution will result Ineffective. As mentioned above, the microbiological isolation of the fungus, being microorganisms ubiquitous in nature, serves only to support other diagnostic methodologies. Histopathology, on the other hand, is today the most reliable technique in these processes, since it shows the infection of the tissues by fungal structures; however, it presents the disadvantage of its industriousness and of being treated in the majority of cases of a postmortem diagnosis.

All this makes us consider the immunodiagnosis as an ideal in this type of process, presenting a high specificity together with a very important precocity that would allow the introduction of a treatment that today is effective only when the process is not very advanced. Another advantage would be the possibility of relating the values ​​obtained with the progression or regression of the disease, which would allow a monitoring of the evolution of the patient.

Where has it been developed

What is proposed therefore is the possibility of applying our methodology to the development of diagnostic kits applicable to different fungal diseases in different animal species.

Our Laboratory of Clinical Mycology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid has been working in this line of research since 1995, analyzing the aforementioned diseases for different private clinics spread throughout the Spanish geography.

The result of our collaboration with a private veterinary laboratory was the development of a methodology applicable to the immunodiagnosis of canine dermatophytoses. It would be of special interest to enhance these studies in terms of their application to feline dermatophytosis, a species where this disease has a higher incidence, in addition to the existence of a large number of animal carriers that act by diffusing dermatophytosis, even infecting humans.

And also

We are sure that the increasing importance of human mycoses in recent years (do not forget the social alarm created by aspergillosis) will soon reach the veterinary field. That is why we consider our methodology of immunodiagnosis as a simple, fast and efficient process of knowing the health status of a companion animal or of an intensive exploitation in the case of production animals.

Our laboratory is therefore trained to perform the indicated methodology, as well as being open to collaboration in research on other fungal diseases in other domestic species.



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C/ Doctor Severo Ochoa, 7. 28040 Madrid.

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Health Sciences


Veterinary Medicine

Responsible Researcher

José Luís Blanco Cancelo: jlblanco@vet.ucm.es
Department: Animal Pathology I
Faculty: Veterinary Medicine