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Abstract

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

Abstract

Objective—To determine the prevalence of lobomycosis, a mycotic infection of dolphins and humans caused by a yeastlike organism (Lacazia loboi), among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—146 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Procedure—Comprehensive health assessments of bottlenose dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon of Florida (n = 75) and in estuarine waters near Charleston, SC (71), were conducted during 2003 and 2004. Bottlenose dolphins were captured, examined, and released. Skin lesions were photographed and then biopsied. Tissue sections were stained with H&E and Gomori methenamine silver stains for identification of L loboi.

Results—9 of 30 (30%) dolphins captured in the southern portion of the Indian River Lagoon had lobomycosis, whereas none of the 45 dolphins captured in the northern portion of the lagoon or of the 71 dolphins captured near Charleston, SC, did. Affected dolphins had low serum alkaline phosphatase activities and high acute-phase protein concentrations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that lobomycosis may be occurring in epidemic proportions among dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon. Localization of the disease to the southern portion of the lagoon, an area characterized by freshwater intrusion and lower salinity, suggests that exposure to environmental stressors may be contributing to the high prevalence of the disease, but specific factors are unknown. Because only dolphins and humans are naturally susceptible to infection, dolphins may represent a sentinel species for an emerging infectious disease.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

A survey of 1,965 equine colic cases was conducted from August 1985 to July 1986 at 10 equine referral centers located throughout the United States. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a multivariable model for the need for surgery. Two-thirds of the cases were randomly selected for model development (1,336), whereas the remaining cases (629) were used only for subsequent validation of the model. If a lesion requiring surgical correction was found at either surgery or necropsy, the case for the horse was classified as surgical, otherwise the case was classified as medical. Only variables that were significant (P < 0.05) in an initial bivariable screening procedure were considered in the model development. Because of the large number of missing values in the data set, only variables for which there were < 400 missing values were considered in the multivariable analysis. A multivariable logistic regression model was constructed by use of a stepwise algorithm. The model used 640 cases and included variables: rectal findings, signs of abdominal pain, peripheral pulse strength, and abdominal sounds. The likelihood ratio for surgery was calculated for each horse in the validation data set, using the logistic regression equation. Using Bayes theorem, the posttest probability was calculated, using the likelihood ratio as the test odds and the prevalence of surgery cases (at each institution) as an estimate of the pretest odds. A Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit χ2 statistic indicated that the model fit the validation data set poorly, as demonstrated by the large χ2 value of 26.7 (P < 0.001). However, when the expected proportion of surgical cases was compared with the observed proportion of surgical cases in each of 10 increments of risk, the model's performance appeared satisfactory.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess the risk of bladder cancer in dogs from exposure to drinking water disinfection by-products and determine whether dogs could serve as sentinels for human bladder cancer associated with such exposures.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—100 dogs with cancer of the urinary bladder and 100 control dogs.

Procedures—Case and control dogs were frequency-matched by age (within 2 years) and sex. Owners of dogs enrolled provided verbal informed consent and were interviewed by telephone. The telephone questionnaire included a complete residence history for each dog. Each dog's total exposure history to trihalomethanes was reconstructed from its residence history and corresponding drinking water utility company data.

Results—No association was detected between increasing years of exposure to chlorinated drinking water and risk of bladder cancer. Dogs with bladder cancer were exposed to higher total trihalomethanes concentrations than control dogs; however, the difference was not significant.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although humans and their dogs live in the same household, the activity patterns of dogs may lead to lower exposures to household tap water. Thus, although exposure to disinfection by-products in tap water may be a risk factor for human bladder cancer, this may not be true for canine bladder cancer at the concentrations at which dogs are exposed.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Objective

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.

Animals

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

Procedure

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

Results

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

SUMMARY

Intraocular production of Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibody in cats has been estimated by comparing the ratio of T gondii-specific antibody in aqueous humor and serum with the ratio of total immunoglobulins in serum and aqueous humor (Goldmann-Witmer coefficient; aqueous antibody coefficient; C value). It has been proposed that in human beings, comparison of the ratio of T gondii-specific antibody in aqueous humor and serum with the ratio of antibodies against a nonocular pathogen in serum and aqueous humor is more accurate than methods using total immunoglobulin quantification. We developed an elisa for detection of calicivirus-specific antibodies in the serum and aqueous humor of cats. By evaluating calicivirus-specific antibody concentrations in the aqueous humor of healthy and diseased cats, calicivirus was assessed as a nonintraocular pathogen. The ratio of T gondii-specific antibodies in the aqueous humor and serum and the ratio of calicivirus-specific antibodies in serum and aqueous humor were evaluated as a means of estimating intraocular T gondii-specific antibody production.

A field strain of feline calicivirus was isolated, cultured, and purified. A calicivirus-specific IgG elisa was developed for detection of feline calicivirus-specific IgG in serum and aqueous humor. Calicivirus-specific IgG was measured in the serum and aqueous humor from 3 groups of control cats. Results suggested that calicivirus is a nonintraocular pathogen in cats and that calicivirus IgG detected in aqueous humor is attributable to leakage across a damaged blood-ocular barrier.

Intraocular production of T gondii-specific antibodies was estimated, using 2 formulas. The C value was calculated by multiplying the ratio of T gondii-specific IgM or IgG in aqueous humor and serum by the ratio of total immunoglobulins (using the corresponding IgM or IgG class) in serum and aqueous humor. The C tc value (Toxoplasma-calicivirus Goldmann-Witmer coefficient) was calculated by multiplying the ratio of T gondii-specific IgM or IgG in aqueous humor and serum by the ratio of calicivirus-specific IgG in serum and aqueous humor.

Serum and aqueous humor samples were obtained from 41 client-owned cats with uveitis, and T gondii-specific C values and Ctc values were calculated. Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM or IgG C values of 10 or greater or T gondii-specific IgM or IgG Ctc values of 1 or greater were considered to be suggestive of intraocular T gondii-specific antibody production. Of the 41 cats, 20 (48.7%) had evidence of intraocular production of T gondii-specific antibody on the basis of either an IgM or IgG C value of 10 or greater. A Ctc value could not be calculated in 3 cats because calicivirus-specific IgG was not present in aqueous humor. Of the 38 cats for which Ctc values could be calculated, 25 (65.8 %) had evidence of intraocular production of T gondii-specific antibody on the basis of either an IgM or IgG Ctc value of 1 or greater. The C values and Ctc values were in agreement for 75.9 % of IgM containing samples and 75% of IgG containing samples. Sensitivity, specificity, predictive value of a positive test result, and predictive value of a negative test result for an IgM or IgG C value, when compared with the corresponding IgM or IgG Ctc value were determined. The results indicate that use of the C value for estimation of intraocular T gondii-specific antibody production will result in 28.6 (IgM) to 50 % (IgG) false-negative results and 12.5% (IgM and IgG) false-positive results, when compared with the Ctc value.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Summary

Serologic evidence of infection by Toxoplasma gondii, feline leukemia virus, feline coronaviruses, or feline immunodeficiency virus (fiv) is commonly found in cats with uveitis. Serum samples from 124 cats with uveitis were assayed by use of elisa for the detection of T gondii-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgG, and circulating antigens (Ag), as well as an elisa for feline leukemia virus Ag, an elisa for antibodies to fiv, and an indirect fluorescent antibody assay for antibodies to feline coronaviruses. Serologic evidence of infection by 1 or more of the infectious agents was detected in 83.1% of the samples. Serologic evidence of T gondii infection, defined as the detection of T gondii-specific IgM, IgG, or Ag in serum, was found in 74.2% of the samples. The seroprevalence of T gondii infection was significantly greater in cats with uveitis than in healthy cats from a similar geographic area. Serum samples from cats with serologic evidence of both T gondii and fiv infections were more likely to contain T gondii-specific IgM without IgG than samples from cats with serologic evidence of T gondii infection alone. Cats with serologic evidence of fiv and T gondii coinfection had a higher T gondii-specific IgM titer geometric mean and a lower T gondii-specific IgG titer geometric mean than did cats with serologic evidence of T gondii infection alone. Serologic evaluation for T gondii infection should include assays that detect IgM, IgG, and Ag, particularly in cats coinfected with fiv.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Serum and aqueous humor samples, collected from 14 clinically normal cats and 96 cats with clinical evidence of intraocular inflammation, were assayed with elisa for Toxoplasma gondii-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM), T gondii-specific IgG, T gondii-specific antigens, total IgG, and total IgM. Additionally, serum was assayed with elisa for feline leukemia virus p27 antigen and antibodies against the feline immunodeficiency virus as well as with an immunofluorescent antibody assay for antibodies against feline coronaviruses. Calculation of the Goldmann-Witmer coefficient (C-value) for the T gondii-specific antibodies detected in aqueous humor established the likelihood of local antibody production. Serologic evidence of present or prior infection by an infectious agent was found in 81.9% of the clinically affected cats from which serologic results were available (77/94 cats). Seropositive results for toxoplasmosis were found in 74.0% of the clinically affected cats. Anterior segment inflammation was found in 93.1% (81/87 cats from which information was available) of the clinically affected cats, most of which were older males. Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies were not detected in the aqueous humor of 6 seropositive, clinically normal cats. The C-values for aqueous T gondii antibodies were > 1 in 44.8% of the cats and > 8 in 24.0% of the cats. Response to treatment with clin-damycn HCl was positive in 15/20 (75%) of the T gondii-seroposidve, clinically affected cats treated with this drug. In 13/15 (86.7%) T gondii-seropositive, clinically affected cats having a C-value > 1, response to treatment with clindamycin HCl was positive. On the basis of our findings, we concluded that serologic evidence of exposure to infectious agents is common in cats with uveitis, toxoplasmosis may be a common cause of uveitis in cats, use of the Goldmann-Witmer coefficient may aid in the diagnosis of ocular toxoplasmosis in cats, and use of clindamycin HCl may be beneficial in the treatment of ocular toxoplasmosis in cats.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To conduct health assessments and compare outcomes in 2 populations of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Design—Repeated cross-sectional study.

Animals—171 Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Procedures—During June and August of 2003 through 2005, 89 dolphins from the Indian River Lagoon (IRL), Florida, and 82 dolphins from estuarine waters near Charleston, SC, were evaluated. A panel of 5 marine mammal veterinarians classified dolphins as clinically normal, possibly diseased, or definitely diseased on the basis of results of physical and ultrasonographic examinations, hematologic and serum biochemical analyses, and cytologic and microbiologic evaluations of gastric contents and swab specimens.

Results—Prevalence of dolphins classified as definitely diseased did not differ significantly between the IRL (32%) and Charleston (20%) sites. Proportions of dolphins classified as possibly diseased also did not differ. Lobomycosis was diagnosed in 9 dolphins from the IRL but in none of the dolphins from Charleston. Proportions of dolphins with orogenital papillomas did not differ significantly between the IRL (12%) and Charleston (7%) sites. From 2003 through 2005, the proportion classified as definitely diseased tripled among dolphins from the Charleston site but did not increase significantly among dolphins from the IRL. Dolphins from the Charleston site were more likely to have leukocytosis, lymphocytosis, and low serum concentrations of total protein and total J-globulins than were dolphins from the IRL.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—High prevalences of diseased dolphins were identified at both sites; however, the host or environmental factors that contributed to the various abnormalities detected are unknown.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association