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Summary

Serum and aqueous humor samples, collected from 14 clinically normal cats and 96 cats with clinical evidence of intraocular inflammation, were assayed with elisa for Toxoplasma gondii-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM), T gondii-specific IgG, T gondii-specific antigens, total IgG, and total IgM. Additionally, serum was assayed with elisa for feline leukemia virus p27 antigen and antibodies against the feline immunodeficiency virus as well as with an immunofluorescent antibody assay for antibodies against feline coronaviruses. Calculation of the Goldmann-Witmer coefficient (C-value) for the T gondii-specific antibodies detected in aqueous humor established the likelihood of local antibody production. Serologic evidence of present or prior infection by an infectious agent was found in 81.9% of the clinically affected cats from which serologic results were available (77/94 cats). Seropositive results for toxoplasmosis were found in 74.0% of the clinically affected cats. Anterior segment inflammation was found in 93.1% (81/87 cats from which information was available) of the clinically affected cats, most of which were older males. Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies were not detected in the aqueous humor of 6 seropositive, clinically normal cats. The C-values for aqueous T gondii antibodies were > 1 in 44.8% of the cats and > 8 in 24.0% of the cats. Response to treatment with clin-damycn HCl was positive in 15/20 (75%) of the T gondii-seroposidve, clinically affected cats treated with this drug. In 13/15 (86.7%) T gondii-seropositive, clinically affected cats having a C-value > 1, response to treatment with clindamycin HCl was positive. On the basis of our findings, we concluded that serologic evidence of exposure to infectious agents is common in cats with uveitis, toxoplasmosis may be a common cause of uveitis in cats, use of the Goldmann-Witmer coefficient may aid in the diagnosis of ocular toxoplasmosis in cats, and use of clindamycin HCl may be beneficial in the treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis in cats.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To use PCR assays to determine the prevalence of feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), Chlamydophila felis, and Mycoplasma spp DNA in conjunctival cells collected from cats with and without conjunctivitis; to compare results of conventional and real-time fluorogenic PCR assays for amplification of FHV-1 DNA; and to determine whether copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA are correlated with conjunctivitis.

Animals—55 cats with active conjunctivitis, 39 healthy cats that never had conjunctivitis, and 32 cats with a history of conjunctivitis that had been resolved for at least 3 months.

Procedures—Samples were obtained by rolling cotton-tipped applicators on the ventral conjunctiva of awake cats treated topically with proparacaine. The DNA was extracted from the swab specimens and assessed in PCR assays to detect DNA of FHV-1 (fluorogenic PCR assay and conventional PCR assay), Mycoplasma spp (conventional PCR assay), and C felis (conventional PCR assay).

Results—Overall prevalence rates of FHV-1, C felis, and Mycoplasma spp as assessed by the conventional PCR assays were 6.7%, 3.2%, and 9.6%, respectively. Percentage concordance between conventional PCR and fluorogenic PCR assays for FHV-1 was 92.5%. There were no significant differences among the 3 groups of cats for the mean copy number of FHV-1 divided by the copy number of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceMycoplasma spp were the most prevalent organism detected and was associated with conjunctivitis. This study could not confirm that there are increased copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA in cats with conjunctivitis, compared with the copy numbers for cats without conjunctivitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To assess whether hyperinoculation of cats with a feline herpesvirus-1, calicivirus, and panleukopenia virus (FVRCP) vaccine could be used as a model to study interstitial nephritis and to assess humoral and cell-mediated immune responses toward vaccinal α-enolase.

ANIMALS

6 healthy young adult purpose-bred research cats.

PROCEDURES

Baseline renal cortical biopsies, whole blood, serum, and urine were collected prior to administration of a commercial FVRCP parenteral vaccine. Vaccine hyperinoculation was defined as a total of 8 vaccinations given at 2-week intervals over a 14-week period. Blood samples were collected immediately prior to each vaccination, and a second renal biopsy was performed 2 weeks after hyperinoculation (week 16). Renal histopathology, renal α-enolase immunohistochemistry, and assays to detect humoral and cell-mediated immune reactions against Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cell lysates and α-enolase were performed. An α-enolase immunoreactivity score for renal tubules and glomeruli based on signal intensity was determined by a blinded pathologist.

RESULTS

Hyperinoculation with the vaccine was not associated with clinicopathologic evidence of renal dysfunction, and interstitial nephritis was not recognized by light microscopy in the time studied. The mean serum absorbance values for antibodies against CRFK antigen and α-enolase were significantly (P < 0.001) higher at weeks 4, 8, and 16 versus week 0. Renal tubular and glomerular α-enolase immunoreactivity scores were higher at week 16 compared to baseline.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggested that systemic immunological reactions occurred and renal tissues were affected by vaccine hyperinoculation; however, short-term FVRCP vaccine hyperinoculation cannot be used to study interstitial nephritis in cats.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs.

Design—Prospective longitudinal study.

Sample Population—240 samples from 20 raw meat diets for dogs (containing beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey), 24 samples from 2 dry dog foods, and 24 samples from 2 canned dog foods.

Procedure—Each product was purchased commercially on 4 dates approximately 2 months apart. Three samples from each product at each sampling period were evaluated via bacterial culture for non–type-specific Escherichia coli (NTSEC), Salmonella enterica, and Campylobacter spp. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed on selected isolates. Polymerase chain reaction assays were used to detect DNA from Cryptosporidium spp, Neospora spp, and Toxoplasma spp in samples obtained in the third and fourth sampling periods.

Results—One hundred fifty-three of 288 (53%) samples were contaminated with NTSEC. Both raw and prepared foods contained NTSEC during at least 1 culture period. Salmonella enterica was recovered from 17 (5.9%) samples, all of which were raw meat products. Campylobacter spp was not isolated from any samples. In 91 of 288 (31.6%) samples, there was no gram-negative bacterial growth before enrichment and in 48 of 288 (16.7%) samples, there was no aerobic bacterial growth before enrichment. Susceptibility phenotypes were variable. Cryptosporidium spp DNA was detected in 3 samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bacterial contamination is common in commercially available raw meat diets, suggesting that there is a risk of foodborne illness in dogs fed these diets as well possible risk for humans associated with the dogs or their environments.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether Ctenocephalides felis can transmit Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (Mhm) through hematophagous activity between cats.

Animals—11 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)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop a broad-range 28S ribosomal DNA quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for detection of fungal DNA in equine endometrial samples.

Sample—12 fungal samples from a clinical diagnostic laboratory and 29 samples obtained from 17 mares.

Procedures—The qPCR assay was optimized with commercially acquired fungal organisms and validated with samples obtained from the clinical diagnostic laboratory. Subsequently, 29 samples from 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis were evaluated via the qPCR assay and via traditional fungal culture and endometrial cytology. Amplicons from the qPCR assay were subjected to genetic sequencing to identify the organisms.

Results—The qPCR assay theoretically had a detection threshold of 2 organisms of Candida albicans. Fungal DNA was amplified from all 12 fungal samples from the commercial diagnostic laboratory. Fungal identification by use of genetic sequencing was successful for 34 of 36 amplicons from the 12 samples assayed. A fungal agent was identified via qPCR assay and genetic sequencing in all 12 samples; in contrast, a fungal agent was identified in only 8 of 12 samples via standard fungal culture and biochemical analysis. The qPCR assay detected fungal DNA in samples from 12 of 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive, and repeatable qPCR assay was developed for detection of fungal DNA from equine endometrial samples. The qPCR may prove to be clinically useful as an adjunct to microbial culture and cytologic examination to provide identification of fungal organisms in a timely manner.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Case Description—A 16-week-old female Boxer that had been treated for 5 weeks with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and chloramphenicol because of aspiration pneumonia was evaluated for bilaterally symmetric masses in the subcutaneous tissues of the ventral neck, in the region of the larynx.

Clinical Findings—Fine-needle aspirates were obtained from the neck masses; cytologic examination revealed well-differentiated thyroid epithelial tissue. A blood sample was collected for serum biochemical and thyroid function analyses. Mild hyperphosphatemia, severe hypercholesterolemia, mild hyperkalemia, and a mild increase in creatine kinase activity were identified. Serum concentration of total thyroxine was less than the lower reference limit, and that of thyroid-stimulating hormone was greater than the upper reference limit. Findings were consistent with a diagnosis of clinical hypothyroidism in a skeletally immature dog.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole was discontinued. The dog was reevaluated 3 weeks later, at which time the neck masses were markedly decreased in size. Serum concentrations of cholesterol and potassium were lower; serum concentrations of total thyroxine and thyroid-stimulating hormone were near or within respective reference ranges. Age-appropriate increases in serum phosphorus concentration and serum alkaline phosphatase activity were also detected.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of antimicrobial-induced goiter in a dog. Cytologic examination of fine-needle aspirates and interpretation of data from serum biochemical and thyroid function analyses were needed to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Practitioners should include goiter among the differential diagnoses for ventral neck swellings in young dogs receiving potentiated sulfonamide antimicrobials.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of twice-daily ophthalmic application of 0.5% cidofovir solution in cats with experimentally induced primary ocular feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) infection.

Animals—Twelve 6-month-old sexually intact male cats.

Procedures—Cats were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group. Ocular infection with FHV-1 was induced (day 0) in all cats via inoculation of both eyes with 104 plaque-forming units of a plaque-purified FHV-1 field strain. Twice daily for 10 days beginning on day 4 after virus inoculation, the treatment group received 1 drop of 0.5% cidofovir in 1% carboxymethylcellulose in both eyes, and the control group received 1 drop of 1% carboxymethylcellulose in both eyes. A standardized scoring method was used to evaluate clinical signs of FHV-1 infection in each cat once daily for 24 days. The amount of ocular viral shedding was assessed by use of a quantitative real-time PCR procedure every 3 days during the study period. Clinical scores and viral quantification were averaged over the pretreatment (days 0 to 3), treatment (days 4 to 14), and posttreatment (days 15 to 24) periods for each cat.

Results—During the treatment period, clinical scores and amount of viral ocular shedding were significantly lower in the treatment group, compared with findings in the control group.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Twice-daily application of 0.5% cidofovir solution in both eyes significantly decreased the amount of viral shedding and the severity of clinical disease in cats with experimentally induced ocular FHV-1 infection.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate effects of topical ophthalmic administration of diclofenac on intraocular pressure (IOP) when applied at 4 frequencies to eyes of Beagles.

ANIMALS

8 ophthalmologically normal Beagles.

PROCEDURES

The study involved four 5-day experimental periods each separated by a 16-day washout period. During each period, 1 drop of 0.1% diclofenac sodium ophthalmic solution was administered to the right eye at 4 treatment frequencies (1, 2, 3, or 4 times/d); 1 drop of eyewash was administered to the left eye as a control treatment. A complete ophthalmic examination was performed on days 0 (day before first treatment) and 5 of each experimental period. Gonioscopy was performed on day 0 of the first period. The IOPs were measured at 7 am and 7 pm on days 1 through 5.

RESULTS

No abnormalities were detected during neuro-ophthalmic and ophthalmic examinations on day 0 of each experimental period. No adverse reactions to administration of diclofenac or eyewash were observed at any time point. No abnormalities were detected during ophthalmic examinations performed on day 5, and IOPs remained < 25 mm Hg in all 4 periods. No significant differences were identified between the treated and control eyes or among the 4 treatment frequencies.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Topical ophthalmic administration of diclofenac up to 4 times/d in dogs with no ophthalmic abnormalities did not significantly increase the IOP. Additional research is needed to evaluate the effect of topical ophthalmic administration of diclofenac on IOP in dogs with anterior uveitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research