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Case Reports in Veterinary Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 2878751, 4 pages
Case Report

Cutaneous Disease as Sole Clinical Manifestation of Protothecosis in a Boxer Dog

1Department of Veterinary Public Health, National School of Public Health, 115 21 Athens, Greece
2Small Animal Dermatology Clinic, Alimos, 174 55 Athens, Greece
3Department of Applied Microbiology and Immunology, National School of Public Health, 115 21 Athens, Greece
4Department of Parasitology, Entomology and Tropical Diseases, National School of Public Health, 115 21 Athens, Greece
5Quality Veterinary Practice, 383 33 Volos, Greece

Received 8 November 2015; Revised 31 January 2016; Accepted 2 February 2016

Academic Editor: Paola Roccabianca

Copyright © 2016 Emmanouil I. Papadogiannakis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Prototheca wickerhamii is ubiquitous, saprophytic achlorophyllous algae that cause opportunistic infections in the dog and cat and disseminated disease usually in immunocompromised animals. In this report an uncommon case of canine cutaneous protothecosis is presented. A 6-year-old female boxer was brought in with skin lesions that consisted of nodules and generalized footpad hyperkeratosis, depigmentation, and erosion. Cytology and histopathology showed pyogranulomatous inflammation along with organisms containing round sporangia with spherical sporangiospores. PCR and sequencing identified the causal organism as Prototheca wickerhamii. Therapy applied in this patient with either fluconazole alone or combination of amphotericin B and itraconazole proved effective only for footpad lesions but not for skin nodules. Systemic therapy seems to be ineffective for skin nodules, at least in chronic cases of canine cutaneous protothecosis. Although canine protothecosis usually presents with the disseminated form, cutaneous disease as sole clinical manifestation of the infection may also be witnessed.