Extradural spinal cord lesion in a dog: First case study of canine neurological histoplasmosis in Italy

Reginato A, Giannuzzi P, Ricciardi M, et al. 

Vet Microbiol 2014;170:451-455.

A 7-year-old intact male mixed dog was presented with a history of acute and progressive paraparesis. Abnormal clinical signs consisted of non-ambulatory paraparesis, hind limbs hypertonia and severe thoracolumbar pain. Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated an isointense in T1 and T2 WI epidural lesion, with good contrast enhancement, extending from T-10 to T-13. Laminectomy was carried out to remove the epidural mass. Histological examination revealed a pyogranulomatous lesion characterized by numerous macrophages containing yeast-like Grocott and PAS-positive bodies. Immunohistochemistry and PCR performed on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue confirmed Histoplasma capsulatum as the causative agent. H. capsulatum has a worldwide distribution in temperate and subtropical climates but its presence as an autochthonous fungus in Europe is now recognized. To the authors’ knowledge this is the first report of canine histoplasmosis in Italy with lesion confined to the central nervous system.