Acta Vet. Brno 2023, 92: 323-328

Determination of the mycobiome in the lower respiratory tract of horses with equine asthma

Libor Podojil1, Vendula Jandová2, Zuzana Drábková1, Dára Brabcová1, Markéta Sedlinská1, Štěpán Bodeček1, Eva Jánová3,4, Soňa Peková5

1University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Equine Clinic, Czech Republic
2Equine Internal Medicine Services, Nákle, Czech Republic
3University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, CEITEC, Czech Republic
4University of Veterinary Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Animal Genetics, Czech Republic
5Tilia Laboratories, Pchery, Czech Republic

Received April 1, 2023
Accepted October 25, 2023

Fungal particles are important allergenic components involved in the development of equine asthma. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mycobiome composition of the lower respiratory tract in asthmatic horses using fungal culture, quantitative multiplex real-time PCR analysis (FungiMultiPlex) and Next-Generation Sequencing approach. Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples obtained from 45 client-owned horses diagnosed with equine asthma were analysed by fungal culture (19 samples), FungiMultiPlex (34 samples), and Next-Generation Sequencing (14 samples). The fungal culture was positive in 11/19 (58%) cases, and FungiMultiPlex was positive in 19/34 (56%) cases. No fungal PCR product was detected by Next-Generation Sequencing analysis. Fungal culture and FungiMultiPlex methods were performed simultaneously on eight horses only. Association of results of these methods was calculated using Phi coefficient (φ= 0.333), and concordance between the methods was not confirmed (P = 0.420). The results of this study suggest that the fungal culture and quantitative multiplex real-time PCR might be considered diagnostically useful to assess the presence of fungi in BALF in a semiquantitative and quantitative manner, respectively. The Next-Generation Sequencing method seems to be less diagnostically suitable due to technical obstacles pertinent to both the low concentration of microbial agents in the rather diluted BALF samples, and, also, due to the relatively high environmental background contamination of the collected material. Based on our data, we advocate the use of the combination of quantitative multiplex real-time PCR and fungal culture in a routine clinical diagnostic setting.


This research was funded by the by Internal Grant Agency of the University of Veterinary Sciences Brno (Project no. IGA VETUNI 113/2021FVL). Authors would like to thank Dr. Sabina Pospíšilová for her help with collection of the data, Dr. Monika Valentinová for her help with the cultivation of fungi, and Dr. Petr Jahn with sample processing.


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