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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a fungal disease in man and animals; it belongs to the group of trichomycoses and is caused by highly contagious agents: Microsporum audouini, which parasitizes humans, and Microsporum canis, which is carried by cats and dogs.

In humans, infection occurs when there is contact with a microsporosis patient (human or animal) or through contact with objects used by the patient (headgear, combs, razors, towels). The disease principally affects children. The hairy part of the head, the eyebrows, mustache, and beard are affected in the form of nidi; the infected hairs break under the skin and smooth skin emerges in the form of round, pale-red peeling spots with raised edges. The course of microsporosis is prolonged; self-healing usually occurs by puberty. In children and adults, smooth skin is often affected—red spots with a bright inflamed rim and scaling appear. Treatment includes the antibiotic griseofulvin, iodine, sulfur, and coal tar preparations for smooth skin; and removal of the hair.


Microsporosis in animals. The disease affects cats, dogs, furbearing and other carnivorous animals, horses, pigs, apes, and rodents. Obliterated, or atypical, forms of the disease are of great significance in the onset. The major causative agent is a sick animal. The agent enters the body of the animal through skin lesions.

Clinically, microsporosis in animals is manifested by loss of hair and scaling on a large portion of the body or by an inflammatory reaction of the skin with subsequent formation of crusts, often under the fur. The infection is usually localized on the head—especially near the ears, above the eyes, on the lower lip, and on the neck—the inner surface of the front paws, the trunk, and at the base of the tail. The round or oval spots are covered with scales and sometimes with crusts, the skin thickens, and the hairs break and are readily pulled out. The lower end of the hair is thickened and enclosed in a gray-white “muff’ containing the spores of the fungus. In the deep follicular form of the disease, there is a strong inflammatory reaction. Obliterated, or atypical, forms are characterized by the formation of erosions and abrasions. When scales and crusts containing the fungus enter the soil, floor, walls, and surrounding objects, the fungus maintains its viability for a long time.

Control measures include early detection by luminescent analysis, isolation, and treatment, of strict veterinary measures, and obligatory and ubiquitous destruction of stray cats and dogs.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.