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Epidemiological and Molecular Investigation of Ocular Fungal Infection in Equine from Egypt

Department of Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafrelshkh University, Kafrelsheikh 33511, Egypt
Department of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
Department of Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag 82524, Egypt
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leon, s/n, 24071 León, Spain
Parasitology and Animal Diseases Department, National Research center, Dokki, Giza, 12622, Egypt
Department of Bacteriology, Mycology and Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Benha University, Benha 13518, Egypt
Department of Poultry and Rabbit Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh 33511, Egypt
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors are contributed equally in the manuscript.
Vet. Sci. 2020, 7(3), 130;
Received: 12 August 2020 / Revised: 2 September 2020 / Accepted: 3 September 2020 / Published: 8 September 2020
Diagnosis and treatment of ocular fungal infection in equine seems very challenging for owners and clinicians. The present study aimed to identify and characterize fungal species isolated from the eyes of clinically healthy and diseased equines (N = 100) from Dakahlia Governorate, Egypt. The work also involved morphological and molecular characterization of the major fungal species. In addition, correlations between the occurrence of isolated fungi and some of the potential risk factors were also investigated. Interestingly, the prevalence rate of ocular mycosis in all examined equines in the study was 28% and there were major clinical signs associated with ocular fungal infection. Moreover, the identified fungal species included Aspergillus flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger, Penicillium spp., Mucor spp., and Alternari spp. with a corresponding prevalence rate of 63.9%, 27.8%, 15.3%, 18.1%, 13.9%, and 4.2%, respectively, in healthy equine eyes, while their prevalence in diseased equine eyes was 57.1%, 32.1%, 21.4%, 7.1%, 3.6%, and 0%. Furthermore, a statistical significant association (p < 0.05) was found between the frequency of isolation of A. fumigatus and Penicillium and several risk factors (breed, sex, and ground type), while the remaining risk factors and occurrence of fungi were not statistically correlated. A subset of the Aspergillus species samples positive by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were sequenced and their phylogenetic analysis identified three species of Aspergillus. Taken together, our study provides novel data related to the occurrence of ocular mycosis in equine in Egypt. Given the zoonotic potential of some identified fungi, our data may be helpful for implementation of novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for combating this sight-threatening infection in equine. View Full-Text
Keywords: epidemiology; molecular; characterization; keratomycosis; eye; equine epidemiology; molecular; characterization; keratomycosis; eye; equine
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tahoun, A.; Elnafarawy, H.K.; Elmahallawy, E.K.; Abdelhady, A.; Rizk, A.M.; El-Sharkawy, H.; Youssef, M.A.; El-Khodery, S.; Ibrahim, H.M.M. Epidemiological and Molecular Investigation of Ocular Fungal Infection in Equine from Egypt. Vet. Sci. 2020, 7, 130.

AMA Style

Tahoun A, Elnafarawy HK, Elmahallawy EK, Abdelhady A, Rizk AM, El-Sharkawy H, Youssef MA, El-Khodery S, Ibrahim HMM. Epidemiological and Molecular Investigation of Ocular Fungal Infection in Equine from Egypt. Veterinary Sciences. 2020; 7(3):130.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tahoun, Amin, Helmy K. Elnafarawy, Ehab Kotb Elmahallawy, Abdelhamed Abdelhady, Amira M. Rizk, Hanem El-Sharkawy, Mohamed A. Youssef, Sabry El-Khodery, and Hussam M. M. Ibrahim. 2020. "Epidemiological and Molecular Investigation of Ocular Fungal Infection in Equine from Egypt" Veterinary Sciences 7, no. 3: 130.

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