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Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine pharmacokinetics and adverse effects after voriconazole administration to cats and identify an oral dose of voriconazole for cats that maintains plasma drug concentrations within a safe and effective range.

ANIMALS 6 healthy cats.

PROCEDURES Voriconazole (1 mg/kg, IV) was administered to each cat (phase 1). Serial plasma voriconazole concentrations were measured for 24 hours after administration. Voriconazole suspension or tablets were administered orally at 4, 5, or 6 mg/kg (phase 2). Plasma voriconazole concentrations were measured for 24 hours after administration. Pharmacokinetics of tablet and suspension preparations was compared. Finally, an induction dose of 25 mg/cat (4.1 to 5.4 mg/kg, tablet formulation), PO, was administered followed by 12.5 mg/cat (2.05 to 2.7 mg/kg), PO, every 48 hours for 14 days (phase 3). Plasma voriconazole concentration was measured on days 2, 4, 8, and 15.

RESULTS Voriconazole half-life after IV administration was approximately 12 hours. Maximal plasma concentration was reached within 60 minutes after oral administration. A dose of 4 mg/kg resulted in plasma concentrations within the target range (1 to 4 μg/mL). Adverse effects included hypersalivation and miosis. During long-term administration, plasma concentrations remained in the target range but increased, which suggested drug accumulation.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Voriconazole had excellent oral bioavailability and a long half-life in cats. Oral administration of a dose of 12.5 mg/cat every 72 hours should be investigated. Miosis occurred when plasma concentrations reached the high end of the target range. Therefore, therapeutic drug monitoring should be considered to minimize adverse effects.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Leptospirosis is a quintessential one health disease of humans and animals caused by pathogenic spirochetes of the genus Leptospira. Intra- and interspecies transmission is dependent on 1) reservoir host animals in which organisms replicate and are shed in urine over long periods of time, 2) the persistence of spirochetes in the environment, and 3) subsequent human-animal-environmental interactions. The combination of increased flooding events due to climate change, changes in human-animal-environmental interactions as a result of the pandemic that favor a rise in the incidence of leptospirosis, and under-recognition of leptospirosis because of nonspecific clinical signs and severe signs that resemble COVID-19 represents a “perfect storm” for resurgence of leptospirosis in people and domestic animals. Although often considered a disease that occurs in warm, humid climates with high annual rainfall, pathogenic Leptospira spp have recently been associated with disease in animals and humans that reside in semiarid regions like the southwestern US and have impacted humans that have a wide spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds. Therefore, it is critical that physicians, veterinarians, and public health experts maintain a high index of suspicion for the disease regardless of geographic and socioeconomic circumstances and work together to understand outbreaks and implement appropriate control measures. Over the last decade, major strides have been made in our understanding of the disease because of improvements in diagnostic tests, molecular epidemiologic tools, educational efforts on preventive measures, and vaccines. These novel approaches are highlighted in the companion Currents in One Health by Sykes et al, AJVR, September 2022.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To correlate gene transcription of cytokines and chemokines with histologic inflammation in nasal biopsy specimens of cats.

Animals—25 study cats and 4 specific pathogen–free cats.

Procedure—One nasal biopsy specimen from each cat was submitted for routine histologic evaluation; a second was submitted for evaluation by use of a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis with a fluorogenic probe (ie, TaqMan) for detection of cytokines and chemokines (interleukin [IL]-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 p40, IL-16, IL-18, interferon [IFN]-γ, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, and the regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted [RANTES] protein). Specimens were grouped histologically by degree of inflammation (none, mild, moderate, or severe). Linearized TaqMan signals for each gene were compared among histologic groups.

Results—Nasal biopsy specimens from specific pathogen–free cats were histologically normal, and cytokine transcription was low in these samples. As nasal inflammation in study cats worsened from absent (n = 3) to mild (4) to moderate (8) or severe (10), progressively and significantly increasing transcription of IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 p40, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and the RANTES protein was detected. Transcription of IL-4, IL- 5, IL-16, and IL-18 did not correlate with worsened histologic inflammation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Transcription of specific cytokines and chemokines in nasal tissue of cats progressively increased with severity of histologic evidence of inflammation, and IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 p40, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and the RANTES protein were markers of inflammation. Our data suggest that the nasal cavity of cats is biased toward a Th1 cytokine profile that is augmented by inflammation. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:996–1001)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine within a cat shelter effects of dietary lysine supplementation on nasal and ocular disease and detection of nucleic acids of Chlamydophila felis, feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline herpesvirus (FHV-1).

Animals—261 adult cats.

Procedures—Cats were fed a diet containing 1.7% (basal diet; control cats) or 5.7% (supplemented diet; treated cats) lysine for 4 weeks. Plasma concentrations of lysine and arginine were assessed at the beginning (baseline) and end of the study. Three times a week, cats were assigned a clinical score based on evidence of nasal and ocular disease. Conjunctival and oropharyngeal swab specimens were tested for FHV-1, FCV, and C felis nucleic acids once a week.

Results—Data were collected from 123, 74, 59, and 47 cats during study weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. By study end, plasma lysine concentration in treated cats was greater than that in control cats and had increased from baseline. There was no difference between dietary groups in the proportion of cats developing mild disease. However, more treated cats than control cats developed moderate to severe disease during week 4. During week 2, FHV-1 DNA was detected more commonly in swab specimens from treated versus control cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary lysine supplementation in the amount used in our study was not a successful means of controlling infectious upper respiratory disease within a cat shelter. Rather, it led to increases in disease severity and the incidence of detection of FHV-1 DNA in oropharyngeal or conjunctival mucosal swab specimens at certain time points.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether the active metabolite of leflunomide, A77 1726 (A77), inhibits replication of feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) in cell culture.

Study Population—Crandell Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cell cultures.

Procedures—Cell cultures were inoculated with FHV-1 and treated simultaneously with concentrations of A77 ranging from 0 to 200μM. The antiviral effect of A77 was determined by use of conventional plaque reduction assays. The effect of A77 on viral load was determined via real-time PCR analysis, and transmission electron microscopy was used to evaluate the effect of A77 on viral morphology. To determine whether the antiviral effect was attributable to alterations in CRFK cell viability and number, CRFK cells were treated with various concentrations of A77 and stained with Annexin V and propidium iodide to assess apoptosis and a mitochondrial function assay was used to determine cell viability.

Results—Concentrations of A77 ≥ 20μM were associated with substantial reduction in plaque number and viral load. Concentrations ≥ 100μM were associated with complete suppression of plaque formation. At low concentrations of A77, clusters of intracytoplasmic virus particles that appeared to lack tegument and an external membrane were detected. Treatment of uninfected CRFK cell monolayers with A77 was associated with reduction in mitochondrial function with minimal evidence of apoptosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Leflunomide may be an alternative to current calcineurin-based immunosuppressive protocols used in feline organ transplantation because of its antiherpesviral activity.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research