Combination of Oral Itraconazole and Topical Enilconazole for the Treatment of Feline Dermatophytosis: Preliminary Results
B.R. Mignon1, V.H. Ronsse2, J. Fontaine3, M.A.C.M. Engelen2, L.M.P. Goossens2, B.J. Losson1, K.M.J.A. Vlaminck2
Dermatophytosis is a frequently encountered disease in cats, which are an important source of zoonotic infections (1). A fast acting efficacious therapy is therefore necessary. The concomitant use of oral itraconazole and topical enilconazole was tested in cats under naturally infected field conditions.
Materials and methods
Eight privately owned, Microsporum canis culture positive cats with ringworm lesions were included in this trial. Cats were treated orally with itraconazole (ItrafungolTM, 5 mg/kg/day for 3 alternating weeks) and topically with enilconazole (ImaverolTM, 4 washings with 4-day intervals). All cats were FIV and FeLV negative. Clinical and mycological monitoring was performed on days 14, 35, 56 and 77 after the onset of treatment (day 0). Clinical monitoring included evaluation of the number of lesions, presence of erythema, pruritus, scales or crusts, hair re-growth and overall clinical cure. Onset of clinical improvement was registered by the owners. Mycological monitoring consisted in fungal culture using a modified Mackenzie method. A history of zoonotic lesions in cat owners was also registered. Frequency tables were calculated and descriptive statistics performed.
Mean time ± SEM to complete clinical cure was 32 ± 5.48 days. Onset of clinical improvement was already observed after 7.6 ± 1.81 days. For cats that reached mycological cure, mean time to cure was 39.2 ± 4.20 days. No clinical or mycological relapses were observed in cured cases. However, one clinically cured cat remained weakly culture positive (2 colonies) on day 77. Treatment related side effects did not occur. In 75% of the households zoonotic lesions in humans were present at the start of the study.
Combination therapy of oral itraconazole and topical enilconazole appeared effective and safe for treating dermatophytosis in cats. The tested treatment schedule provided a fast recovery with prolonged protection, reducing risk of zoonotic infections and relapses. The positive culture seen in a single cat at the end of the study could be related to a higher pressure of infection in the household or a lower immune response leading to a carrier state (2). In multiple cat households with high pressure of infection environmental disinfection should therefore be considered.
1. Scott, D.W. et al. (2001). Muller and Kirk's Small Animal Dermatology, 6th edn. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders:336
2. DeBoer, D.J. and Moriello, K.A. (1993) J Med Vet Mycol, 31, 121-132.