Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Zoonotic acquisition of cutaneous Sporothrix braziliensis infection in the UK
  1. Raissa Rachman1,
  2. Marcin Ligaj2,
  3. Suchitra Chinthapalli3 and
  4. Robert Serafino Wani4
  1. 1Microbiology, The Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Histopathology, The Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  3. 3Dermatology, The Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  4. 4Pathology, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert Serafino Wani; robertserafinowani{at}


A veterinarian presented with multiple erythematous tender nodules over his right hand and arm. One month prior to the appearance of the lesions, he had treated a cat imported from Brazil who had ulcerated pustular cutaneous lesions. Despite antibiotic treatment there had been no improvement in his symptoms.

Biopsies from the patient were sent for histology, bacterial and fungal culture. Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) stains showed a PAS positive oval yeast-like micro-organism with surrounding necrosis. Fungal cultures resembling Sporothrix species grew after 18 days with typical appearances seen on direct microscopy; this was confirmed as Sporothrix brasiliensis on 18S PCR. The patient was treated with oral itraconazole.

This is a unique case of cutaneous S. brasiliensis acquired from an infected imported cat. S. brasiliensis is a rare pathogen in the UK. This case has clinical relevance due to its unusual aetiology and in raising awareness of rarer infections associated with importation of pets and global travel. Clinicians should be aware of sporotrichosis as a differential diagnosis for cutaneous and extracutaneous infection in patients with a high risk of exposure, as well as the use of appropriate diagnostic tests.

  • Infectious diseases
  • Dermatology
  • Global Health
  • Tropical medicine (infectious disease)

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors RR wrote the case report. SC and RS-W reviewed the report. RR and ML were involved in the microbiological diagnosis. All four authors were involved in the patient's care.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.