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  • Author or Editor: Bodil Ström Holst x
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Objective—To investigate shedding of chlamydiae from conjunctiva and genital tracts of cats without clinical signs of conjunctivitis or other infectious disease in relation to their titers of serum antibodies against chlamydiae and to serum amyloid A (SAA) and serum α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP) concentrations.

Animals—62 healthy cats.

Procedures—Serum from each cat was analyzed for antibodies against chlamydiae and for SAA and AGP concentrations. Swab samples from the conjunctival sac and genital tract were analyzed with a real-time PCR assay for Chlamydiaceae.

Results—4 of 8 of cats with high antibody titers (ie, 1,600) shed chlamydiae, but only from the conjunctiva. Chlamydiae could not be detected in samples from cats with lower antibody titers nor from any genital tract samples. In cats with antibody titers of 1,600, mean ± SD SAA concentration was significantly higher when chlamydiae were detected in conjunctival swab samples (3.9 ± 1.0 mg/L) than when no chlamydiae were detected (1.4 ± 1.0 mg/L). However, SAA concentration was greater than the limit for an acute-phase response in only one of those cats. There was no significant difference in serum AGP concentrations between cats with high titers that were or were not shedding chlamydiae. Nine of 30 (30%) cats (5 with and 4 without detectable serum antibodies against chlamydiae) that had been mated developed reproductive disorders.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinically normal cats with high chlamydiae-specific antibody titers can shed and thus transmit chlamydiae. Venereal spread from cats without clinical signs of infection is likely not common.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To characterize the bacteria of the genital tract in adult cats; assess the effect of estrus, mating, and administration of progestins on those microorganisms in females; and evaluate whether results of bacteriologic culture of vaginal swabs are affected by cleansing of the vulva prior to sampling or by repeated sampling.

Animals—66 female and 29 male cats undergoing routine ovariohysterectomy or castration.

Procedure—Specimens were obtained from vaginal and uterine or preputial mucosae with swabs moistened with sterile saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. In 9 cats, vaginal specimens were obtained before and after cleansing of the vulva with ethanol; in 7 female cats, 2 vaginal specimens were obtained in immediate succession.

Results—Aerobic bacteria were most commonly isolated from cats' vaginas and prepuces; anaerobic bacteria were isolated frequently from males (41%) but rarely from females (5%). Generally, culture results were not affected by cleansing of the vulva or repeated vaginal sampling. The bacterial population of the vaginas of cats was influenced by stage of the estrous cycle but not by mating or administration of progestins. Bacteria were not isolated from the uterus of any cat.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In cats, bacteria of the genital tract in females are predominantly aerobic; in males, aerobic and anaerobic bacteria are found. The bacterial population of the vagina is affected by stage of the estrous cycle. Pure growth of bacteria in culture of genital tract specimens is a normal finding; antimicrobials should only be administered if clinical signs of genital infection are present. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:963–968)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research