Figure 4: Direct smear of a tracheal wash from a horse with Aspergillus infection

 

Degenerate neutrophils surround chunky to smooth strands of brick red to muddy purple amorphous material, compatible with necrosis (arrows). Fungal hyphae can be embedded within the necrotic regions, but can be difficult to see (modified Wright’s stain). This pattern of necrosis, i.e. irregular linear chunks surrounded by inflammatory cells, is always concerning for an underlying fungal infection.

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