dermatophytes, featherless broiler, non- dermatophytes, toe webs
T Mbata. Dermatophytes and other skin mycoses found in featherless broiler toe webs. The Internet Journal of Dermatology. 2008 Volume 7 Number 2.
Feartherless broilers which are produced by a complex breeding programme from feathered parents carrying the Sc-gene, dissipates excessive body heat under hot and humid conditions. It has high body weight, and grows very rapidly when compared with standard commercial broiler. Their toe webs are bigger than standard commercial broiler, and could harbor fungi which can cause infections where there is the opportunity.
Dermatophytes are among the most frequent causes of dermatological problems in domestic animals. They are classified in three genera, Epidermophyton, Microsporum, and Trichophyton which include about 40 accepted species. However, only a few species belonging to the genera Microsporum and Trichophyton are usually the cause of dermatophytes in domestic animal . They are usually divided into three ecological groups according to their main natural host or habitat: the anthropophilic (humans), the zoophilic (animals) and the geophilic (soil).
Animals serve as reservoirs of the zoophilic dermatophytes, and their infections have considerable zoonotic importance. Zoophilic dermatophytes such as
In this study, the occurrence of dermatophytes and other skin mycoses found in toe webs of featherless broilers were investigated.
Materials and Methods
collection of sample
A total of 50 fatherless broilers kept at the animal house at 30¬¬oC at the Faculty of Agriculture, Hebrew University, Rehovot Campus, Israel were used in the study. Presence of scaling (if any) was noted. Samples of skin scrapings from the interdigital toe webs were taken using a sterile scalpel. Scalpels were changed for each sample to avoid contamination of specimens. The scrapings were collected in a piece of sterile papers, carefully folded, and then placed in an enveloped for storage in air-tight containers to await microscope and cultural analyses.
Microscopy and culture of samples
A small sample of each scraping was digested by placing it on a microscope slide and adding one to two drops of 20% Potassium hydroxide (KOH). A cover slip was applied and the slide was heated gently over a flame as describd3d by Hainer . Each treated slide was the carefully examined under low (x10) and High (x40) power objectives to observe the fungal forms.
Each scraping was cultured, for dermatophytes onto sabouraud dextrose chloramphenicol actidione agar. A duplicate inoculation of the sample was also cultured on sabouraud’s dextrose cycloheximide agar. For non dermatophytes, cultures were made on sabouraud dextrose agar supplemented with chloramphenicol to eliminate bacteria. All cultures were incubated at 28oC for up to 4 weeks. Fungal isolates were then subculltured onto plates of sabouraud’s agar and potato glucose agar. The isolates were examined macroscopically and microscopically following staining with lactophenol cotton blue wet mount technique. The dermatophytes species were identified by gross and microscopic morphology and by
A total of 50 featherless broilers who presented with suspected superficial mycoses in the toe webs were examined during the investigation. Forty-one broilers (82%) were found to be mycologically positive by microscopy and culture. Only 5 chickens showed some scaling in their toe webs. The organisms recovered from those who presented with scaling were
The study showed that toe webs of featherless broiler that may be considered healthy harbor varieties of dermatophytes non-dermatophytes and yeast. According to Lison
In this study, some of the fungi isolated were also recovered by Oyeka  on human toe webs. This could be because keepers of most domestic animals (Poultry) entered their environment (habitat) with bare-foot (to avoid cross- infection), but infected human foot web may cross- infect the birds. Infection of human foot could occur as a result of wearing of shoes  as this may provide warmth and moisture on the toe webs required by fungi to grow and cause damages in the tissue.
The occurrence of dermatophytes has been previously reported in domestic animals . The study recovered dermatophytes and other skin myxcoses from the toe webs of feartherless broilers. They included
The presence of
In conclusion, featherless broilers toe webs although bigger than that of feathered broiler harbor less fungi. This may be attributed to the particular temperature where they are kept with little contact with dust and soil. These birds can survive in low and hot environmental conditions in order to fully express their genetic potential of rapid growth and high meat yield unlike the feathered broilers. Finally the fungi recovered from the toe webs have been implicated in cases of mycotic skin disease and therefore cannot be regarded as ordinary normal flora of toe webs. These pathogens can cause infections under favourable conditions