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Decontaminating household textiles exposed to ringworm

  • July 20, 2016 3:10 PM EDT

    This study evaluated and reported on the decontamination of surfaces exposed to naturally shed infective cat hair or spores of Microsporum canis (ringworm). The most important finding was that it is not difficult nor impossible to decontaminate surfaces and homes. The key findings were:

    1. If a surface can be washed it can be decontaminated.

    2. Removal of gross visible cat hair and debris enhances decontamination.

    3. Laundry can be decontaminated with two washings. It is important to wash exposed laundry until it is free of visible cat hair. Laundry can be successfully decontaminated using cold water without the addition of bleach. What is most important is to use the longest wash cycle available and to not over stuff the laundry tub. Agitation is important in removing cat hair.

    4. Carpets can be decontaminated via washing with a beater brush carpet scrubber two times using routine detergent. Carpets can be decontaminated using hot water extraction (“i.e” steam cleaning). If chemical decontamination is needed carpets can be pretreated with an antifungal shampoo (miconazole/chlorhexidine or ketoconazole) for 10 minutes and then washed as normal. Alternatively, an accelerated hydrogen peroxide carpet cleaner can be used.

    5. Routine cleaning (mechanical removal of cat hair, washing with a detergent until a surface is clean, and sparing use of a disinfectant) can decontaminate homes during and after an infected cat has been present.

    Winn Feline Foundation Grant ID: 12-034
    Decontamination of household textiles exposed to Microsporum canis spores
    Karen A. Moriello; University of Wisconsin-Madison; final progress report

    • 1 posts
    July 21, 2016 10:21 AM EDT

    What a great, highly useful study!  Is there a way to get more detailed information on the methods used for household decontamination?

  • July 22, 2016 1:36 PM EDT

    Here are several references with more information:

    Moriello KA: In vitro efficacy of shampoos containing miconazole, ketoconazole, climbazole, or accelerated hydrogen peroxide against Microsporum canis and Trichophyton spp - Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2016 DOI: 10.1177/1098612X15626197


    Moriello KA: Decontamination of carpet exposed to Microsporum canis hairs and spores - Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2016 DOI: 10.1177/1098612X16634390


    Moriello KA: Decontamination of laundry exposed to Microsporum canis hairs and spores - Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2015 DOI: 10.1177/1098612X15587575


    Moriello KA: Kennel Disinfectants for Microsporum canis and Trichophyton sp. - Veterinary Medicine International 2015 http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/853937 (Open Access) This work was funded in part by the Winn Foundation.


    Moriello KA: “Dermatophytosis: Decontamination Recommendations" In, Consultations in Feline Internal Medicine (Little S ed) Vol 7 Elsevier 2015 pp 334-344


    Moriello KA: Feline Dermatophytosis - Aspects pertinent to disease management in single and multiple cat households - Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2014 15:419-431 (Note: This article is open access via a gift grant from Maddie’s Fund). This article contains information based upon the original funded study.


    Newbury S, Moriello KA: Feline dermatophytosis: Steps for investigation of a suspected shelter outbreak. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2014: 16:407-418 (Note: This article is open access via a gift grant from Maddie’s Fund. This work was partially funded from Winn Foundation grant monies.)

    In Preparation or Submitted:
    World Association of Veterinary Dermatology Consensus Statement on the Treatment of Small Animal Dermatophytosis (submitted June 2016) Grant Number: W-12-034 Principal Investigator: Moriello Date: March 10, 2015

    Moriello KA: Decontamination of homes and shelters exposed to dermatophyte spores), to be submitted August 2016