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- Author or Editor: Adam J. Birkenheuer x
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Objective—To determine whether Haemobartonella canis and Mycoplasma haemofelis (formerly known as H felis [large form]) can be differentiated by use of comparative analysis of gene sequences.
Sample Population—Blood samples obtained from 3 dogs infected with H canis and 2 cats infected with M haemofelis.
Procedure—The partial 16S rDNA and ribonuclease P RNA (RNase P) genes were amplified, cloned, and sequenced in blood samples obtained from H canis-infected dogs and M haemofelis-infected cats. The DNA sequences were subjected to comparative analysis.
Results—The 16S rDNA sequences of H canis and M haemofelis were nearly identical (homology of 99.3 to 99.7%). In contrast, RNase P gene sequences had a lower degree of sequence homology between the 2 organisms (94.3 to 95.5%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Haemobartonella canis and M haemofelis are not identical organisms. Molecular differentiation of H canis and M haemofelis is more clearly evident by use of comparative analysis of RNase P gene sequences than by comparative analysis of 16S rDNA gene sequences. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1385–1388)
Objective—To identify the geographic distribution of babesiosis among dogs in the United States and determine, for dogs other than American Pit Bull Terriers (APBTs), whether infection was associated with a recent dog bite.
Procedure—Canine blood samples submitted to the North Carolina State University Vector-Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory between May 2000 and October 2003 for which results of a Babesia-specific polymerase chain reaction assay were positive were identified, and breed and geographic origin of dogs from which samples were obtained were recorded. History and hematologic abnormalities for dogs that were not APBTs were recorded, and possible associations with a recent dog bite were examined.
Results—Dogs positive for Babesia DNA were located in 29 states and 1 Canadian province (Ontario). Babesia gibsoni was the most commonly detected species, with B gibsoni DNA detected in blood samples from 131 of 144 (91%) dogs. Of the 131 dogs positive for B gibsoni DNA, 122 (93%) were APBTs. Of the 10 dogs positive for Babesia canis vogeli DNA, 6 were Greyhounds. In dogs other than APBTs, there was an association between having recently been bitten by another dog, particularly an APBT, and infection with B gibsoni.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results document an expansion of the known geographic range for babesiosis among dogs in the United States. Testing for babesiosis should be pursued in dogs with clinicopathologic abnormalities consistent with immunemediated hemolytic anemia or thrombocytopenia, particularly if there is a history of a recent dog bite. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:942–947)
Objective—To develop a real-time PCR assay for the quantification of mucin gene expression in tracheobronchial brushing specimens from dogs and compare mucin gene expression in specimens from dogs with naturally occurring chronic bronchitis with that in specimens from healthy dogs.
Animals—7 healthy dogs and 5 dogs with chronic bronchitis.
Procedures—Primers that were designed to span the predicted intron-exon boundaries of a canine MUC5AC-like gene were used to develop a real-time PCR assay for quantification of expression of that gene. Total mRNA was isolated from tracheobronchial brushing specimens obtained from dogs with and without bronchitis during anesthesia; MUC5AC-like gene expression in those samples was quantified by use of the real-time PCR assay.
Results—The PCR assay was sensitive and specific for the target sequence, the predicted amino acid sequence of which had greatest homology with human, porcine, and rat MUC5AC. The assay was able to quantify the target over a wide dynamic range. Dogs with chronic bronchitis had a 3.0-fold increase in the quantity of MUC5AC-like mRNA, compared with healthy dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The ability to measure mucin gene expression from tracheobronchial brushing specimens collected from client-owned dogs during routine bronchoscopy should prove to be a useful tool for the study of bronchitis in dogs and expand the usefulness of airway inflammation in dogs as a model for bronchitis in humans.
Objective—To determine whether apparently healthy captive-born wild felids that were not native to North America and were housed in an area endemic for Cytauxzoon felis harbored the pathogen.
Design—Prospective observational case series.
Animals—11 captive-born wild felids that were (1 bobcat [Lynx rufus] and 1 cougar [Puma concolor]) or were not (1 lion [Panthera leo] and 8 tigers [Panthera tigris]) native to North America and 6 domestic cats (5 pets and 1 feral).
Procedures—Blood was collected, and a PCR assay for C felis was performed. The C felis 18S rRNA gene sequence was characterized in samples that tested positive. Blood smears were evaluated microscopically for intraerythrocytic organisms consistent with C felis. Blood smears from an additional 6 feral domestic cats found dead on the study premises were also evaluated.
Results—4 tigers and 6 domestic cats without clinical signs of disease tested positive for C felis infection via PCR assay; intraerythrocytic organisms consistent with C felis were identified in smears from 1 C felis—infected tiger (which also had azotemia) and in smears from 11 of 12 domestic cats. Possible erythrocytic inclusions were identified in 1 tiger that tested negative for C felis. Sequences of C felis 18S rRNA amplicons from all infected tigers shared > 99.8% identity with reported C felis sequences from North American domestic cats and were identical to amplicons from domestic cats on the premises.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Captive tigers without clinical signs of disease tested positive for C felis. The PCR assay for C felis appeared to be more reliable than cytologic detection of piroplasms in tigers.
Objective—To determine whether infection with or exposure to Bartonella spp was associated with idiopathic rhinitis in dogs.
Animals—44 dogs with idiopathic nasal discharge and 63 age- and weight-matched control dogs without nasal discharge and no clinical signs of bartonellosis.
Procedures—Serum was tested for antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Bartonella vinsonii subsp berkhoffii with indirect fluorescent antibody assays. Blood was tested for Bartonella DNA with a PCR assay.
Results—Results of the antibody and PCR assays were negative for all 44 dogs with idiopathic nasal discharge. One control dog had antibodies against B henselae; a second control dog had positive PCR assay results. We did not detect a significant association between assay results and group designation.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The present study failed to confirm an association between idiopathic rhinitis and exposure to or infection with Bartonella spp in dogs. Findings do not rule out the possibility that Bartonella infection may cause nasal discharge in some dogs, but the failure to find any evidence of exposure to or infection with Bartonella spp in dogs with idiopathic nasal discharge suggested that Bartonella infection was not a common cause of the disease.
Objective—To determine the prevalence of infectious diseases of animal and zoonotic importance in cats and dogs rescued and transferred from the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Katrina.
Animals—414 dogs and 56 cats rescued and transferred from the Gulf Coast region within 4 months after the hurricane.
Procedures—EDTA-anticoagulated blood and serum samples were tested via PCR and serologic assays for infectious diseases.
Results—In dogs, prevalence was highest for anti-West Nile virus (WNV) antibodies (218/390 [55.9%]), Dirofilaria immitis antigen (195/400 [48.8%]), anti-Toxoplasma gondii antibodies (92/366 [25.1%]), and hemotropic mycoplasma DNA (40/345 [11.9%]). The DNA of Bartonella spp, Ehrlichia spp, or Babesia spp or anti-canine influenza virus antibodies were identified in < 2% of dogs. In cats, prevalence was highest for antibodies against Bartonella spp and DNA of Bartonella spp combined (49/55 [89.1 %]), anti–T gondii antibodies (13/55 [23.6%]), hemotropic mycoplasma DNA (5/47 [10.6%]), anti-WNV antibodies (5/48 [10.4%]), D immitis antigen (4/50 [8.0%]), and anti–FIV antibodies (4/56 [7.1%]). A total of 308 (74.4%) dogs and 52 (92.9%) cats had evidence of previous or current vector-borne infections.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cats and dogs rescued from the disaster region had evidence of multiple infectious diseases. The dispersal of potentially infectious animals to other regions of North America where some infections were not typically found could have contributed to new geographic ranges for these organisms or to underdiagnosis in affected animals because of a low index of suspicion in regions with low disease prevalence.
Objective—To describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of feline cytauxzoonosis in the midAtlantic states and compare the Cytauxzoon felis 18S rRNA gene sequences from affected cats with sequences reported from affected cats in other regions.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—34 cats with C felis infection.
Procedure—Medical records of cats in which C felis infection was diagnosed from May 1998 through June 2004 were reviewed; data collected included signalment, month of diagnosis, geographic location, clinicopathologic abnormalities, medical treatments, outcome, and necropsy findings when applicable. Cytauxzoon felis DNA was amplified, cloned, and sequenced from 4 of these cats and compared with previously reported C felis DNA sequences.
Results—Of 34 C felis–infected cats, 28 resided in North Carolina, 3 resided in South Carolina, and 3 resided in Virginia; in 32 cats, a diagnosis of C felis infection was made in April through September. Pancytopenia and icterus were the most common clinicopathologic abnormalities. Thirty-two cats either died or were euthanatized, and 2 cats survived. At 5 veterinary hospitals, multiple cases were identified, and 4 multicat households had > 1 cat infected with C felis. The 18S rRNA gene sequences characterized in organisms obtained from 4 cats were nearly identical to C felis DNA sequences reported from other US regions.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Data indicate that veterinarians in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States should consider C felis infection in cats that become ill with fever, icterus, and pancytopenia or bicytopenia, especially in the spring and summer months.