Paraparesis as initial manifestation of a Prototheca zopfii infection in a dog

Marti Pumarola Batlle, C. Font, J. Mascort, M. Márquez, C. Esteban, N. Durall, A. Luján

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10 Citations (Scopus)


A case of protothecosis causing non-ambulatory paraparesis in a dog without clinical evidence of disseminated infection is described. A five-year-old female Labrador retriever was referred with a 10-day history of progressive non-ambulatory paraparesis and lumbar pain as the only physical and neurological abnormalities. Lumbar myelography revealed severe extradural spinal cord compression extending from L4 to L7 vertebrae, and a right hemilaminectomy was performed. Surgical findings included an adherent whitish hard ill-defined mass. Cytology and biopsy results disclosed the presence of algae enclosed in a matrix of chronic inflammatory infiltrate. Culture confirmed the presence of Prototheca species. Neurological improvement occurred within a month, and the dog received antifungal treatment without evidence of clinical disseminated disease for 6 months, but died after a generalised tonic-clonic seizure. Post-mortem examination revealed multiple foci of inflammatory granulomatous infiltrate and algae-like structures in the brain, lumbar intumescence and cauda equina. Prototheca zopfii was identified using molecular biology methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-286
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Small Animal Practice
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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