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  • Author or Editor: Lauren Lacorcia x
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Objective—To evaluate the diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid examination and other diagnostic techniques, compared with the use of the Baermann technique performed on fecal samples as the reference standard, for detection of naturally occurring Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection in a population of cats.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—Cadavers of 80 semiferal domestic cats.

Procedures—BAL fluid collection and analysis, necropsy, examination of fecal samples and minced lung tissue via the Baermann technique, fecal sedimentation-flotation, and histologic examination of lung tissue were performed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) for detection of A abstrusus infection were calculated.

Results—On the basis of fecal Baermann test results, prevalence of infection was 13.8%. Sensitivity (NPV) of tests was as follows: Baermann technique on minced lung tissue, 81.8% (97.2%); fecal flotation-sedimentation, 63.6% (94.5%); stereomicroscopic examination of BAL fluid combined with cytologic examination of BAL fluid, 54.5% (93.2%); stereomicroscopic examination of BAL fluid alone, 45.4% (92.0%); cytologic examination of BAL fluid alone, 36.4% (90.8%); histologic examination of lung tissue, 45.4% (91.8%); and gross lung appearance, 36.4% (90.8%). Specificity and PPV of all tests were 100%, with the exception of histologic examination of lung tissue (specificity, 97.1%; PPV, 71.4%), which identified infected cats that had negative fecal Baermann test results.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The Baermann technique was the most sensitive test for detection of A abstrusus infection. On the basis of the prevalence of 13.8% in this study, A abstrusus infection should be considered in pet cats.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



In Latvia in 2014, acquired idiopathic megaesophagus (AIME) was observed in increased numbers of dogs that consumed varieties of 1 brand of dog food. Within 2 years, 253 dogs were affected. In Australia in November 2017, 6 working dogs that consumed 1 diet of another brand of dog food developed AIME. In total, 145 Australian dogs were affected.


AIME was diagnosed predominantly in large-breed male dogs (> 25 kg [55 lb]). Regurgitation, weight loss, and occasionally signs consistent with aspiration pneumonia (coughing, dyspnea, or fever) were noted. Most Latvian dogs had mild to severe peripheral polyneuropathies as evidenced by laryngeal paralysis, dysphonia, weakness, and histopathologic findings consistent with distal axonopathy. In Australian dogs, peripheral polyneuropathies were not identified, and histopathologic findings suggested that the innervation of the esophagus and pharynx was disrupted locally, although limited samples were available.


Investigations in both countries included clinical, epidemiological, neuropathologic, and case-control studies. Strong associations between the dog foods and the presence of AIME were confirmed; however, toxicological analyses did not identify a root cause. In Latvia, the implicated dietary ingredients and formulations were unknown, whereas in Australia, extensive investigations were conducted into the food, its ingredients, the supply chain, and the manufacturing facilities, but a cause was not identified.


A panel of international multidisciplinary experts concluded that the cause of AIME in both outbreaks was likely multifactorial, with the possibility of individualized sensitivities. Without a sentinel group, the outbreak in Australia may not have been recognized for months to years, as happened in Latvia. A better surveillance system for early identification of pet illnesses, including those associated with pet foods, is needed. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2021;259:172–183)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association