Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of and optimize a
commercially available culture system for sensitive
and specific in-clinic culture of Tritrichomonas foetus
from cat feces.
Sample Population—Samples of freshly voided
feces from 117 purebred cats and pure cultures of
T foetus obtained from a cat with chronic diarrhea.
Procedure—Optimal conditions for use of the culture
system, such as quantity of fecal inoculum (0.025 to
0.2 g) and cultivation temperature (25 or 37°C [98.6 or
77.0°F]), were determined. Specificity of the system
was examined by attempted culture of Giardia lamblia
and Pentatrichomonas hominis. Sensitivity of the system
to detect T foetus was determined by inoculation
of culture system pouches with serially diluted T foetus suspensions
with and without feces.
Results—Detection limit of the culture system was 1
and 1,000 T foetus organisms without and with feces
from cats, respectively. Optimal fecal inoculum was
< 0.1 g of feces. At 37°C, cultures yielded positive results
in 24 hours; organisms remained viable for 1 to 6 days,
and bacterial overgrowth was common. At 25°C, cultures
yielded positive results in 1 to 11 days; organisms were
long-lived, and bacterial overgrowth was uncommon.
Neither G lamblia or P hominis survived in the culture system.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The culture
system was sensitive and specific for culture of
T foetus in feces of cats. Performance was optimal
when test kits were inoculated with ≤ 0.1 g of freshly
voided feces and cultured at 25°C. (J Am Vet Med Assoc
Objective—To determine the long-term outcome of
cats infected with Tritrichomonas foetus and identify
treatment and management strategies influencing
resolution of infection or associated diarrhea.
Sample Population—26 cats with T foetus-associated
diarrhea at least 22 months prior to the study.
Procedure—A standardized survey regarding clinical
course and management was administered to owners
of cats with T foetus infection and associated diarrhea.
Fecal samples were obtained from each cat; the
presence of T foetus was assessed via microscopic
examination of smears, culture in commercial media,
and polymerase chain reaction amplification of T foetus rDNA
involving species-specific primers.
Results—Survey responses were obtained from owners
of all 26 cats. Twenty-three cats had complete resolution
of diarrhea a median of 9 months after onset.
Analysis of fecal samples obtained from 22 cats
revealed persistent T foetus infection in 12, with a
median of 39 months after resolution of diarrhea.
History of implementation of a dietary change, treatment
with paromomycin, or higher numbers of cats in
the household was associated with significantly longer
duration of time to resolution of diarrhea.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested
chronic T foetus-associated diarrhea in most
cats is likely to resolve spontaneously within 2 years
of onset. Chronic infection with T foetus(without clinical
signs) after resolution of diarrhea appears to be
common. Although often temporarily effective in
decreasing severity of diarrhea, attempts to treat cats
with T foetus infection may result in prolongation of
time to resolution of diarrhea. (J Am Vet Med Assoc