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.