September 2017



Signalment (JPC #1945809):  Adult male Magellanic penguin

HISTORY:  This penguin was found dead in its pen.

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Slide F06a:  Lung:  Affecting nearly 100% of the lung are multifocal, randomly distributed, 0.5-1.0 mm granulomas that are characterized by a central core of lytic necrosis admixed with viable and degenerate heterophils, bounded by lymphocytes, macrophages, rare multi-nucleated macrophages (foreign body type), fibroblasts and sparse collagen.  Throughout the granulomas are multiple fungal hyphae characterized by thin parallel walls which are 5-8 microns in diameter, acute angle dichotomous branching and distinct infrequent septations.  Diffusely, the airway capillaries are infiltrated by increased numbers of macrophages, hemorrhage, fibrin and edema.  The airway capillary septa are frequently discontinuous and replaced by eosinophilic cellular debris (septal necrosis), heterophils, lymphocytes and histiocytes.  There is segmental to diffuse necrosis and loss of the walls and epithelium of the secondary mesobronchi and parabronchi by the granulomas and lumina are filled with an exudate of heterophils, rare multinucleated macrophages, fungal hyphae, hemorrhage, fibrin and edema.  The tunica media and endothelium of blood vessels are infiltrated by the aforementioned inflammatory cells, necrotic debris (vasculitis), hemorrhage, fibrin and edema, which also expand the pleura up to 100 um in thickness (pleuritis).

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Lung:  Pneumonia, granulomatous and heterophilic, necrotizing, multifocal to coalescing, severe, with vasculitis and fungal hyphae, etiology consistent with Aspergillus sp., Magellanic penguin, avian.

Signalment (P-F06B; JPC #1785683):  Pregnant 7-year old Morgan horse

HISTORY:  This horse was euthanized due to extreme dyspnea.

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Slide F06b:  Lung:  Affecting 70% of the lung are multifocal to coalescing, randomly distributed, up to 5 mm infarcts that are characterized by necrotic blood vessels and alveolar capillaries which contain high numbers of fungal hyphae and moderate numbers of neutrophils which infiltrate the endothelium and tunica media (vasculitis) admixed with lytic cellular debris, fibrin, hemorrhage, edema, variable numbers of degenerate and viable neturophils, macrophages, lymphocytes and plasma cells.  Fungal hyphae extend into the adjacent alveoli and are characterized by thin parallel walls which are 5-8 microns in diameter, acute angle dichotomous branching and distinct infrequent septations and often admixed with numerous degenerate neutrophils, macrophages and lymphocytes.  Within the affected areas of the lung, bronchi and bronchioles are infiltrated by fewer aforementioned inflammatory cells.  The less affected alveolar septa are expanded by congestion and few alveolar macrophages and lymphocytes. 

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Lung:  Pneumonia, necrotizing and embolic, subacute, multifocal to coalescing, severe, with infarction, vasculitis and fungal hyphae, etiology consistent with Aspergillus sp., Morgan, equine.

ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Pulmonary aspergillosis

CAUSE:  Aspergillus sp.

SYNONYMS:  Brooder pneumonia; mycotic pneumonia; pneumomycosis










  1. Abdo W, Kawachi T, Sakai H, et al. Disseminated mycosis in a killer whale (Orcinus orca). J Vet Diagn Invest. 2012;24(1):211-218.
  2. Blanco JL, Garcia ME. Immune response to fungal infections. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2008;125(1-2):47-70.
  3. Cassle SE, Landrau-Giovannetti N, Farina LL, et al. Coinfection by cetacean morbillivirus and Aspergillus fumigatus in a juvenile bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) in the Gulf of Mexico. JVDI. 2016; 28(6): 729-734.
  4. Caswell JL, Williams KJ. Respiratory system. In: Maxie MG, ed. Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer's Pathology of Domestic Animals. Vol 2. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:502, 554, 573, 579.
  5. Campbell JJ, Coyner KS, Rankin SC, Lewis TP, Schick AE, Shumaker AK. Evaluation of fungal flora in normal and diseased canine ears. Vet Dermatol. 2010;21(6):619-625.
  6. Chandler FW, Kaplan W, Ajello L. Aspergillosis. In: Chandler FW, Kaplan W, Ajello L, Color Atlas and Text of the Histopathology of Mycotic Diseases. Chicago, IL: Year Book Medical Publishers, Inc; 1980:34-38; 144-157.
  7. Cheville NF. Algae, fungi, and other eukaryotes. In: Cheville NF, ed. Ultrastructural Pathology: The Comparative Cellular Basis of Disease. 2nd ed. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2009:581-582.
  8. Delaney MA, Terio KA, Colegrove KM, et al. Occlusive fungal tracheitis in 4 captive bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Vet Pathol. 2012; 50(1): 172-176.
  9. De Oca VM, Valdes SE, Segundo C, et al. Aspergillosis, a natural infection in poultry: mycological and molecular characterization and determination of gliotoxin in Aspergillus fumigatus Avian Diseases. 2016; 61(1): 77-82.
  10. do Carmo PMS, Portela RA, de Oliveira-Filho JC, et al. Nasal and cutaneous aspergillosis in a goat. J Comp Path. 2014;150(1):4-7.
  11. Femenia F, Fontaine JJ, Lair-Fulleringer S, et al. Clinical, mycological and pathological findings in turkeys experimentally infected by Aspergillus fumigatus. Avian Pathol. 2007;36(3):213-219.
  12. Hurley-Sanders JL, Larsen RS, Troan B, Loomis M. Fungal osteomyelitis in two bufflehead ducklings (Bucephala albeola). Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 2015; 46(3): 613-616.
  13. Kradin RL, Mark EJ. The Pathology of pulmonary disorders due to Aspergillus Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2008;132(4):606-614.
  14. Leite-Filho RV, Fredo G, Lupion CG, et al. Chronic invasive pulmonary aspergillosis in two cats with diabetes mellitus. Comp. Path.2016; 155: 141-144.
  15. Lopez A, Martinson SA. Respiratory system, mediastinum and pleurae. In: Zachary JF, McGavin MD, eds. Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease. 6th St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2016:233-234; 547.
  16. Mercier E, Peters IR, Day MJ, Clercx C, Peeters D. Toll- and NOD-like receptor mRNA expression in canine sino-nasal aspergillosis and idiopathic lympoplasmacytic rhinitis. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2012;145(3-4):618-624.
  17. Olias P, Hauck R, Windhaus H, van der Grinten E, Gruber AD, Hafez HM. Articular aspergillosis of hip joints in turkeys. Avian Dis. 2010;54(3):1098-1101.
  18. Payne CL, Dark MJ, Conway JA, Farina LL. A retrospective study of the prevalence of calcium oxalate crystals in veterinary Aspergillus JVDI. 2017; 29(1): 51-58.
  19. Schultz RM, Johnson EG, Wisner ER, Brown NA, Byrne BA, Sykes JE. Clinicopathologic and diagnostic imaging characteristics of systemic aspergillosis in 30 dogs. J Vet Intern Med. 2008;22(4):851-859.
  20. Stalker MJ, Hayes MA. Liver and biliary system. In: Maxie MG, ed. Jubb, Kennedy, and Palmer's Pathology of Domestic Animals. Vol 1. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2007:370-371.
  21. Yamauchi H, Takai Y, Yamasaki H, Fukuda R. Thoracic mass in a cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis). Vet Pathol. 2011;48(4):E1-5.
  22. Zachary JF. Mechanisms of microbial infections. In: Zachary JF, McGavin MD, eds. Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2012:235-237.

Click the slide to view.

Click on image for diagnostic series.

Back | Home | Contact Us | Links | Help |