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  • Author or Editor: Jennifer R. Hawley x
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Objective—To use PCR assays to determine the prevalence of feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), Chlamydophila felis, and Mycoplasma spp DNA in conjunctival cells collected from cats with and without conjunctivitis; to compare results of conventional and real-time fluorogenic PCR assays for amplification of FHV-1 DNA; and to determine whether copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA are correlated with conjunctivitis.

Animals—55 cats with active conjunctivitis, 39 healthy cats that never had conjunctivitis, and 32 cats with a history of conjunctivitis that had been resolved for at least 3 months.

Procedures—Samples were obtained by rolling cotton-tipped applicators on the ventral conjunctiva of awake cats treated topically with proparacaine. The DNA was extracted from the swab specimens and assessed in PCR assays to detect DNA of FHV-1 (fluorogenic PCR assay and conventional PCR assay), Mycoplasma spp (conventional PCR assay), and C felis (conventional PCR assay).

Results—Overall prevalence rates of FHV-1, C felis, and Mycoplasma spp as assessed by the conventional PCR assays were 6.7%, 3.2%, and 9.6%, respectively. Percentage concordance between conventional PCR and fluorogenic PCR assays for FHV-1 was 92.5%. There were no significant differences among the 3 groups of cats for the mean copy number of FHV-1 divided by the copy number of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceMycoplasma spp were the most prevalent organism detected and was associated with conjunctivitis. This study could not confirm that there are increased copy numbers of FHV-1 DNA in cats with conjunctivitis, compared with the copy numbers for cats without conjunctivitis.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether Ctenocephalides felis can transmit Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (Mhm) through hematophagous activity between cats.

Animals—11 cats.

Procedure—2 cats were carriers of either Mhf or Mhm. Nine cats had negative results via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for Mhf and Mhm DNA; 3 of those cats were infected from the chronic carriers via IV inoculation of blood. At the time of maximum organism count for each of the Mycoplasma spp, 1 chamber containing 100 C felis was bandaged to the amplifier cats. Five days later, fleas, feces, larvae, or eggs from each chamber were analyzed for Mycoplasma spp DNA. Viable fleas from the chambers were allocated into new chambers (3 Mhm and 6 Mhf) and attached to naïve cats for 5 days. Cats were monitored daily for clinical signs and weekly via CBC and PCR assay for infection with Mhf or Mhm for a minimum of 8 weeks.

Results—Uptake of Mhf and Mhm DNA into fleas, feces, and, potentially, eggs and larvae was detected. Of the naïve cats fed on by Mhf-infected fleas, 1 cat transiently yielded positive PCR assay results for Mhf on 1 sampling date without clinical or hematologic changes consistent with Mhf infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that hematophagous transfer of Mhm and Mhf into fleas occurred and that C felis is a possible vector for Mhf via hematophagous activity. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1008–1012)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To assess whether hyperinoculation of cats with a feline herpesvirus-1, calicivirus, and panleukopenia virus (FVRCP) vaccine could be used as a model to study interstitial nephritis and to assess humoral and cell-mediated immune responses toward vaccinal α-enolase.


6 healthy young adult purpose-bred research cats.


Baseline renal cortical biopsies, whole blood, serum, and urine were collected prior to administration of a commercial FVRCP parenteral vaccine. Vaccine hyperinoculation was defined as a total of 8 vaccinations given at 2-week intervals over a 14-week period. Blood samples were collected immediately prior to each vaccination, and a second renal biopsy was performed 2 weeks after hyperinoculation (week 16). Renal histopathology, renal α-enolase immunohistochemistry, and assays to detect humoral and cell-mediated immune reactions against Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cell lysates and α-enolase were performed. An α-enolase immunoreactivity score for renal tubules and glomeruli based on signal intensity was determined by a blinded pathologist.


Hyperinoculation with the vaccine was not associated with clinicopathologic evidence of renal dysfunction, and interstitial nephritis was not recognized by light microscopy in the time studied. The mean serum absorbance values for antibodies against CRFK antigen and α-enolase were significantly (P < 0.001) higher at weeks 4, 8, and 16 versus week 0. Renal tubular and glomerular α-enolase immunoreactivity scores were higher at week 16 compared to baseline.


Findings suggested that systemic immunological reactions occurred and renal tissues were affected by vaccine hyperinoculation; however, short-term FVRCP vaccine hyperinoculation cannot be used to study interstitial nephritis in cats.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To develop a broad-range 28S ribosomal DNA quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for detection of fungal DNA in equine endometrial samples.

Sample—12 fungal samples from a clinical diagnostic laboratory and 29 samples obtained from 17 mares.

Procedures—The qPCR assay was optimized with commercially acquired fungal organisms and validated with samples obtained from the clinical diagnostic laboratory. Subsequently, 29 samples from 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis were evaluated via the qPCR assay and via traditional fungal culture and endometrial cytology. Amplicons from the qPCR assay were subjected to genetic sequencing to identify the organisms.

Results—The qPCR assay theoretically had a detection threshold of 2 organisms of Candida albicans. Fungal DNA was amplified from all 12 fungal samples from the commercial diagnostic laboratory. Fungal identification by use of genetic sequencing was successful for 34 of 36 amplicons from the 12 samples assayed. A fungal agent was identified via qPCR assay and genetic sequencing in all 12 samples; in contrast, a fungal agent was identified in only 8 of 12 samples via standard fungal culture and biochemical analysis. The qPCR assay detected fungal DNA in samples from 12 of 17 mares suspected of having fungal endometritis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive, and repeatable qPCR assay was developed for detection of fungal DNA from equine endometrial samples. The qPCR may prove to be clinically useful as an adjunct to microbial culture and cytologic examination to provide identification of fungal organisms in a timely manner.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether administration of Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cell lysates or vaccines against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia (FVRCP vaccines) that likely contain CRFK cell proteins induces antibodies against CRFK cell or feline renal cell (FRC) lysates in cats.

Animals—14 eight-week-old cats.

Procedure—Before and after the study, renal biopsy specimens were obtained from each cat for histologic evaluation. Each of 4 FVRCP vaccines was administered to 2 cats at weeks 0, 3, 6, and 50. Between weeks 0 and 50, another 3 pairs of cats received 11 CRFK cell lysate inoculations SC (10, 50, or 50 µg mixed with alum). Clinicopathologic evaluations and ELISAs to detect serum antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates were performed at intervals.

Results—Cats had no antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates initially. All cats administered CRFK cell lysate had detectable antibodies against CRFK cell or FRC lysates on multiple occasions. Of 6 cats vaccinated parenterally, 5 had detectable antibodies against CRFK cell lysate at least once, but all 6 had detectable antibodies against FRC lysate on multiple occasions. Cats administered an intranasal-intraocular vaccine did not develop detectable antibodies against either lysate. Important clinicopathologic or histologic abnormalities were not detected during the study.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Parenteral administration of vaccines containing viruses likely grown on CRFK cells induced antibodies against CRFK cell and FRC lysates in cats. Hypersensitization with CRFK cell proteins did not result in renal disease in cats during the 56-week study. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:506–511)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research