Objective—To determine whether Ctenocephalides
felis can transmit Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and
Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (Mhm)
through hematophagous activity between cats.
Procedure—2 cats were carriers of either Mhf or
Mhm. Nine cats had negative results via polymerase
chain reaction (PCR) assay for Mhf and Mhm DNA; 3
of those cats were infected from the chronic carriers
via IV inoculation of blood. At the time of maximum
organism count for each of the Mycoplasma spp, 1
chamber containing 100 C felis was bandaged to the
amplifier cats. Five days later, fleas, feces, larvae, or
eggs from each chamber were analyzed for
Mycoplasma spp DNA. Viable fleas from the chambers
were allocated into new chambers (3 Mhm and
6 Mhf) and attached to naïve cats for 5 days. Cats
were monitored daily for clinical signs and weekly via
CBC and PCR assay for infection with Mhf or Mhm for
a minimum of 8 weeks.
Results—Uptake of Mhf and Mhm DNA into fleas,
feces, and, potentially, eggs and larvae was detected.
Of the naïve cats fed on by Mhf-infected fleas, 1 cat
transiently yielded positive PCR assay results for Mhf
on 1 sampling date without clinical or hematologic
changes consistent with Mhf infection.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest
that hematophagous transfer of Mhm and Mhf
into fleas occurred and that C felis is a possible vector
for Mhf via hematophagous activity. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1008–1012)