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  • Author or Editor: Christa Bruns x
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Objective—To determine prevalence of enteric zoonotic organisms in cats in north-central Colorado.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Serum and fecal samples from 87 cats with diarrhea, 106 cats without diarrhea, and 12 cats for which fecal consistency was unknown.

Procedures—Samples were obtained from clientowned cats and cats at a humane society shelter. Serum was assayed for feline leukemia virus antigen and antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus, IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii, and IgG antibodies against T gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. Microscopic examination of unstained feces was performed after centrifugation in a zinc sulfate solution, thin fecal smears were stained with acid fast stain and examined for C parvum, and bacteriologic culture of feces was used to detect aerobic and anaerobic bacteria.

Results—Enteric zoonotic organisms were detected in feces from 27 of 206 (13.1%) cats and included C parvum (5.4%), Giardia spp (2.4%), Toxocara cati (3.9%), Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium (1.0%), and Campylobacter jejuni (1.0%); each organism was detected in samples from cats with and without diarrhea. Although differences between groups were not significant, a higher proportion of shelter cats (18.2%) had enteric zoonotic organisms than client-owned cats (10.1%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Enteric zoonotic organisms were detected in feces of 13.1% of cats, suggesting that cats, particularly those in homes of immunocompromised humans, should be evaluated for enteric zoonotic organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:687–692)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To determine the value of virus isolation (VI), immunofluorescent antibody (IFA) assay, serum neutralization (SN), and ELISA for the diagnosis of clinical feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) infection in cats.


46 clinically normal cats, 17 cats with signs of acute respiratory tract disease, and 38 cats with signs of chronic ocular disease.


Conjunctival swabs for VI, conjunctival scrapings for IFA testing, and venous blood samples for SN or ELISA testing were obtained from all cats.


FHV-1 was detected in 10.9 and 28.3% of clinically normal cats and in 18.2 and 33.3% of cats with FHV-1-associated disease by VI and the IFA assay, respectively. There were no significant differences in the viral detection rate between cats with acute respiratory tract disease and cats with chronic ocular disease or between diseased cats and clinically normal cats; however, FHV-1 was never detected by both methods in clinically normal cats. Overall FHV-1 seroprevalence was 97% when tested by ELISA and 66% when tested by SN. Seroprevalence did not vary significantly among the 3 groups for either serologic test. Magnitude of SN and ELISA titers varied greatly but independently of presence or absence of clinical signs of FHV-1-associated disease. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were assessed for VI and the IFA assay—jointly and individually—and for each SN and ELISA titer magnitude. Values never all exceeded 50%.

Clinical Implications

Because FHV-1 can be detected commonly in clinically normal cats by the IFA assay or VI, neither test appears to aid in the clinical diagnosis of FHV-1 infection. Seroprevalence does not appear to vary between affected and clinically normal cats. SN, ELISA, VI, and the IFA assay appear to be of limited value in the diagnosis of FHV-1-associated disease in cats. Concurrent assessment of the IFA assay and VI results may permit exclusion of FHV-1 as an etiologic agent if results of both tests are negative. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1999;214:502–507)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association