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  • Author or Editor: Matthew F. Poore x
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Abstract

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.

Design—Prospective study.

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 2003;222:1376–1379)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

Design—Prospective study.

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 2004;225:888–892)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the efficacy of tinidazole for treatment of cats with experimentally induced Tritrichomonas foetus infection.

Animals—8 specific-pathogen-free kittens.

Procedures—Tinidazole was tested for activity against a feline isolate of T foetus in vitro. Kittens were infected orogastrically with the same isolate and treated or not with tinidazole (30 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h for 14 days). Amoxicillin was administered 28 weeks after completion of tinidazole administration to induce diarrhea. Feces were repeatedly tested for T foetus by use of PCR assay and microbial culture for 33 weeks.

Results—Tinidazole killed T foetus at concentrations ≥ 10 μg/mL in vitro. In experimentally induced infection, tinidazole administered at 30 mg/kg decreased T foetus below the limit of molecular detection in 2 of 4 cats. Recrudescent shedding of T foetus, as elicited by amoxicillin-induced diarrhea, was diminished in cats that received prior treatment with tinidazole.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Although tinidazole decreased the detection of T foetus and treated cats were resistant to later efforts to incite the infection, inability of tinidazole to eradicate infection in many cats poses a serious impediment to the drug’s effectiveness in practice.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether infection with Tritrichomonas foetus causes diarrhea in specific pathogen-free or Cryptosporidium coinfected cats.

Animals—4 cats with subclinical cryptosporidiosis (group 1) and 4 specific-pathogen-free cats (group 2).

Procedure—Cats were infected orogastrically with an axenic culture of T foetus isolated from a kitten with diarrhea. Direct microscopy and protozoal culture of feces, fecal character, serial colonic mucosal biopsy specimens, and response to treatment with nitazoxanide (NTZ; group 1) or prednisolone (groups 1 and 2) were assessed.

Results—Infection with T foetus persisted in all cats for the entire 203-day study and resulted in diarrhea that resolved after 7 weeks. Group-1 cats had an earlier onset, more severe diarrhea, and increased number of trichomonads on direct fecal examination, compared with group-2 cats. Use of NTZ eliminated shedding of T foetus and Cryptosporidium oocysts, but diarrhea consisting of trichomonad-containing feces recurred when treatment was discontinued. Prednisolone did not have an effect on infection with T foetus but resulted in reappearance of Cryptosporidium oocysts in the feces of 2 of 4 cats. During necropsy, T foetus was isolated from contents of the ileum, cecum, and colon. Tritrichomonas foetus organisms and antigen were detected on surface epithelia and within superficial detritus of the cecal and colonic mucosa.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—After experimental inoculation in cats, T foetus organisms colonize the ileum, cecum, and colon, reside in close contact with the epithelium, and are associated with transient diarrhea that is exacerbated by coexisting cryptosporidiosis but not treatment with prednisolone. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1690–1697)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research