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  • Author or Editor: John P. Thilsted x
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The clinical, clinicopathologic, and pathologic features of 119 cases of plague in cats from 1977 to 1988 in New Mexico were reviewed. Fifty-three percent were bubonic, 10% were pneumonic, 8% were septicemic, and 29% with neither buboes nor pneumonia were unclassified (but presumed septicemic). Three quarters of the lymphadenopathy was submandibular, and almost half of this was bilateral. One third of all cats had the triad of lethargy, anorexia, and fever in addition to buboes; one quarter had this triad plus abscesses. The overall mortality rate was 33%, with the greatest risk of death in pneumonic cases. For confirmatory diagnosis with a single laboratory test, fluorescent antibody was most frequently used (39% of cases). Cultures and passive hemagluttination titers were also used for confirmation. Gross and histologic findings depended on the type of plague, with Yersinia pestis organisms visualized in buboes of cats with bubonic plague and in the alveolar spaces and respiratory tubules of cats with pneumonic plague.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine whether animals had serologic evidence of infection with Sin Nombre virus (SNV).


Prospective serosurvey.

Sample Population

Serum samples were obtained from 145 cats, 85 dogs, 120 horses, and 24 cattle between April 1993 and August 1994 and 54 coyotes between December 1994 and February 1995.


Serum samples were analyzed by western immunoblot assays for reaction with SNV nucleocapsid antigen. Samples with reactivity to SNV nucleocapsid proteins were used to probe multiple-antigen blots containing recombinant fusion proteins derived from prototypic hantaviruses. Lung tissue or blood clots were used in nested reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assays for a 320-nucleotide portion of the SNV G1 gene.


Sera from 4 of 145 (2.8%) cats and 4 of 85 (3.5%) dogs had trace reactivity to full-length SNV-encoded nucleocapsid proteins. All samples from horses, cattle, and coyotes were nonreactive. Sera from cats and dogs that had trace IgG-antibody reactivity to nucleocapsid proteins were then tested for IgG-antibody reactivity to nucleocapsid proteins of prototypic hantaviruses. One cat had multiple cross-reactivities with these hantaviruses, consistent with exposure to a hantavirus; however, epitope mapping studies did not support this conclusion. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction studies of blood clots or lung tissue from 2 animals that had weak reactivity to SNV failed to amplify any hantavirus sequence.

Clinical Implications

Domestic animals, particularly dogs and cats, as well as coyotes do not appear to have a major role in the maintenance and transmission of SNV. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:970–973)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association