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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether Tritrichomonas foetus infection resides in reproductive tract tissues from cats housed for breeding and for which a high prevalence of colonic T foetus infection has been reported.

Animals—61 purebred cats in 36 catteries undergoing elective ovariohysterectomy or castration and for which reproductive tract tissues, feces, and a reproductive history were obtained.

Procedures—Reproductive tract tissues were examined for T foetus via light microscopy, immunohistochemical analysis, and PCR assay. History of reproductive tract disease was examined to detect statistical associations with identified or reported exposure to colonic T foetus infection.

Results—15 of 61 (25%) cats and 22 of 33 (67%) catteries were identified with active or reported T foetus infection. Light microscopic, immunohistochemical, or molecular evidence of T foetus infection of the reproductive tract was not detected in any cats, including 15 cats with colonic T foetus infection, 29 cats residing in a cattery in which T foetus–infected cats were identified, and 8 cats for which gross or light microscopic evidence of reproductive tract disease was identified. There were no differences in total number of litters, number of litters per breeding, kitten mortality rate, or birth defects between cats or catteries infected with T foetus and those for which T foetus infection was not identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—No evidence of reproductive tract colonization by T foetus was detected in this study. Accordingly, it is unlikely that reproductive tract infection with T foetus plays an important role in overall disease transmission.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine the efficacy of tinidazole for treatment of cats with experimentally induced Tritrichomonas foetus infection.

Animals—8 specific-pathogen-free kittens.

Procedures—Tinidazole was tested for activity against a feline isolate of T foetus in vitro. Kittens were infected orogastrically with the same isolate and treated or not with tinidazole (30 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h for 14 days). Amoxicillin was administered 28 weeks after completion of tinidazole administration to induce diarrhea. Feces were repeatedly tested for T foetus by use of PCR assay and microbial culture for 33 weeks.

Results—Tinidazole killed T foetus at concentrations ≥ 10 μg/mL in vitro. In experimentally induced infection, tinidazole administered at 30 mg/kg decreased T foetus below the limit of molecular detection in 2 of 4 cats. Recrudescent shedding of T foetus, as elicited by amoxicillin-induced diarrhea, was diminished in cats that received prior treatment with tinidazole.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although tinidazole decreased the detection of T foetus and treated cats were resistant to later efforts to incite the infection, inability of tinidazole to eradicate infection in many cats poses a serious impediment to the drug’s effectiveness in practice.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research