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Vet Pathol. 2004 Jul;41(4):412-5.

Outbreaks of pythiosis in two flocks of sheep in northeastern Brazil.

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Veterinary Faculty, Federal University of Campina Grande, Campus de Patos, Paraíba, Brazil.


Two outbreaks of cutaneous pythiosis caused by Pythium insidiosum were diagnosed in two herds of crossbred hair wool sheep of different ages in the semiarid region of Northeastern Brazil. In one herd of 120 sheep, 40 were affected. The other outbreak affected six sheep out of 80. Local swellings with ulcerative lesions were observed in the limbs and abdominal and prescapular regions. Three sheep were necropsied. Two of them had lung metastasis characterized by multifocal nodules measuring 0.5-2 cm. In one animal, the prescapular lymph node was also affected. In another, the cutaneous lesion extended to the sesamoid bone. Microscopically, there were multifocal granulomas with intralesional P. insidiosum hyphae and Splendore-Hoeppli material surrounding the hyphae. The diagnosis was based on the histologic lesions, immunohistochemical identification, and culture of the etiologic agent. One sheep treated with potassium iodide recovered. Standing in swampy water for long periods in a warm aquatic environment seems to be the reason for the high prevalence of the disease.

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