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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether monthly topical administration of a combination of 10% imidacloprid and 1% moxidectin would lessen flea (Ctenocephalides felis) transmission of Bartonella henselae among cats.

Design—Controlled trial.

Animals—18 specific pathogen–free cats housed in 3 groups of 6.

Procedures—3 enclosures were separated by mesh to allow fleas to pass among groups yet prevent cats from contacting one another. One group was inoculated IV with B henselae, and after infection was confirmed, the cats were housed in the middle enclosure. This infected group was flanked by a group that was treated topically with 10% imidacloprid–1% moxidectin monthly for 3 months and by an untreated group. On days 0, 15, 28, and 42, 100 fleas/cat were placed on each of the 6 cats in the B henselae–infected group. Blood samples were collected from all cats weekly for detection of Bartonella spp via PCR assay, bacterial culture, and serologic assay.

ResultsB henselae infection was confirmed in the cats infected IV and in all untreated cats after flea exposure; none of the cats treated with the imidacloprid-moxidectin combination became infected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In this setting, monthly topical administration of 10% imidacloprid–1% moxidectin reduced flea infestation, compared with infestation in untreated cats, and thus prevented flea transmission of B henselae to treated cats. Regular monthly use of this flea control product in cats may lessen the likelihood of humans acquiring B henselae infection.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine regional seroprevalence estimates of Toxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG in clinically ill cats throughout the United States.

Sample Population—Sera from 12,628 clinically ill, client-owned cats.

ProcedureToxoplasma gondii-specific IgM and IgG antibodies were detected by use of ELISAs. Sera from clinically ill cats previously submitted for T gondii antibody testing were sequentially selected from our serum bank and the sample submission paperwork reviewed. The country was divided into 12 geographic regions. Overall prevalence as well as prevalence for each region, age group, season, sex (male vs female), and breed (domestic shorthair vs other) was calculated. Data were analyzed by logistic regression analysis.

Results—Overall, 31.6% of the cats were seropositive for T gondii-specific IgM, IgG, or both. Percentage of cats seropositive for T gondii antibodies ranged from 16.1% (southwestern United States) to 43.5% (northeastern United States). As age increased, odds of positive T gondii antibody assay results (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG) increased. Males were more likely than females to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgG alone and any combination of IgM or IgG). Domestic shorthair cats were more likely than other breeds to be seropositive for T gondii antibodies (IgM alone, IgG alone, and any combination of IgM or IgG).

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceToxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies are common in serum samples of clinically ill cats from all regions of the United States. Seroprevalence increases as cats age and is higher in male and domestic shorthair cats, compared with females and other breeds. (Am J Vet Res 2005; 66:874–877)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To assess efficacy of Giardia vaccination as a treatment for giardiasis in experimentally infected cats.

Design—Original study.

Animals—16 young-adult cats.

Procedure—Cats were experimentally infected by orogastric administration of Giardia cysts. On weeks 4, 6, and 10, cats in the treatment group (n = 8) were given Giardia vaccine SC. For the first 28 weeks after infection, 3 fecal samples from each cat were examined weekly for Giardia cysts, and cyst numbers were counted. Fecal consistency was scored daily for the duration of the study. Results from vaccinated and unvaccinated cats were compared by logistic regression.

Results—All cats became infected and were shedding Giardia cysts by the end of week 2. Throughout the study, diarrhea was rare and was mild and transient when it did occur. By week 28, 5 of 8 vaccinated cats and 7 of 8 control cats had patent Giardia infections. Magnitude of infection, based on number of fecal samples with cysts and number of cysts per sample, decreased progressively in both groups over time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of 3 doses of a Giardia vaccine did not completely eliminate the organism from experimentally infected cats in the study period. Since clinical signs were minimal in both groups of cats, it could not be determined whether vaccination lessened severity of clinical disease. Results may have been negatively influenced by the large inoculation dose. Whether Giardia vaccination is an effective treatment for giardiasis in naturally infected cats remains to be determined. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:1548–1551)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether fenbendazole effectively eliminates Giardia organisms from chronically infected cats that have a concurrent Cryptosporidium parvum infection.

Animals—16 clinically normal cats.

Procedure—Eight cats with chronic concurrent Giardia and C parvum infections received fenbendazole (50 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h) for 5 days (treatmentgroup cats). Feces from each cat were collected and processed 3 days weekly for 23 days after treatment. By use of an immunofluorescent assay for detection of Giardia lamblia cysts and C parvum oocysts, organism numbers were counted and scored. Fecal results from treatment-group cats were compared with those of 8 untreated cats with Giardia infection but no C parvum infection (control-group cats).

Results—Four of 8 treatment-group cats had consistently negative results for Giardia infection after treatment. These 4 cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts prior to treatment and consistently negative results after treatment. One treatment -group cat had positive results for cysts on all fecal samples, and 3 treatment-group cats had 1 to 3 negative results and then resumed shedding large numbers of cysts; each of these cats had consistently positive results for C parvum oocysts. When compared with control-group cats, treatment-group cats shed less Giardia cysts during week 1 after treatment but not during week 2.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of fenbendazole decreases Giardia cyst shedding to less than detectable numbers in some cats. In our study, persistent C parvum infection may have been associated with failure of fenbendazole to eliminate Giardia infection. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1027–1029)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether detection of virusspecific serum antibodies correlates with resistance to challenge with virulent feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline parvovirus (FPV) in cats and to determine percentages of client-owned cats with serum antibodies to FHV-1, FCV, and FPV.

Design—Prospective experimental study.

Animals—72 laboratory-reared cats and 276 clientowned cats.

Procedures—Laboratory-reared cats were vaccinated against FHV-1, FCV, and FPV, using 1 of 3 commercial vaccines, or maintained as unvaccinated controls. Between 9 and 36 months after vaccination, cats were challenged with virulent virus. Recombinant-antigen ELISA for detection of FHV-1-, FCV-, and FPV-specific antibodies were developed, and results were compared with results of hemagglutination inhibition (FPV) and virus neutralization (FHV-1 and FCV) assays and with resistance to viral challenge.

Results—For vaccinated laboratory-reared cats, predictive values of positive results were 100% for the FPV and FCV ELISA and 90% for the FHV-1 ELISA. Results of the FHV-1, FCV, and FPV ELISA were positive for 195 (70.7%), 255 (92.4%), and 189 (68.5%), respectively, of the 276 client-owned cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that for cats that have been vaccinated, detection of FHV-1-, FCV-, and FPV-specific antibodies is predictive of whether cats are susceptible to disease, regardless of vaccine type or vaccination interval. Because most client-owned cats had detectable serum antibodies suggestive of resistance to infection, use of arbitrary booster vaccination intervals is likely to lead to unnecessary vaccination of some cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;219:38–42)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (Mhm) can be transmitted by ingestion of Mycoplasma-infected Ctenocephalides felis and by-products (feces, larvae, and eggs).

Animals—10 cats.

Procedure—3 cats were carriers of Mhf, and 1 was a carrier of Mhm. Six cats had negative results of PCR assay for Mhf and Mhm DNA. A chamber containing 100 C felis was bandaged to 2 Mhf carrier cats. Five days later, fleas and by-products were analyzed for Mycoplasma spp DNA. The remaining fleas and a sample of by-products were fed to 2 Mycoplasma-naïve cats. A chamber containing 200 C felis was bandaged to the Mhm carrier cat. Five days later, fleas and by-products were analyzed for Mycoplasma spp DNA. The remaining fleas and a sample of by-products were fed to 2 Mycoplasma-naïve cats. A chamber containing 200 C felis was bandaged to an Mhf carrier cat and Mhm-carrier cat. Three days later, fleas and by-products were analyzed for Mycoplasma spp DNA. The remaining fleas and a random sample of by products were fed to 4 Mycoplasma-naïve cats. All cats were monitored for infection for ≥7 weeks.

Results—Uptake of Mhf and Mhm DNA into fleas and by-products was detected. None of the naïve cats became infected.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that ingestion of Mycoplasma-infected C felis or by-products is not an important means of transmission for Mhf or Mhm.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To develop a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay that detects and differentiates the Ohio strain of Haemobartonella felis (H felis-OH) and the California strain of H felis (H felis-CA) and to apply the assay to blood samples from cats with and without suspected haemobartonellosis (suspect and control cats, respectively).

Sample Population—220 blood samples were examined; 82 were from suspect cats, and 138 were from control cats.

Procedure—A PCR assay was designed to detect and differentiate H felis-OH and H felis-CA.

Results—On the basis of PCR assay results, the overall prevalence of H felis infection was 19.5% (43/220). Suspect cats (28.0%; 23/82) were significantly more likely than control cats (14.5%; 20/138) to be H felis infected. Significantly greater numbers of suspect cats were H felis-OH infected (12.2%, 9/82) or H felis-OH and H felis-CA infected (4.9%, 4/82) than control cats (0% [0/138] and 0.7% [1/138], respectively). Significantly more anemic cats were H felis-OH infected (14.3%; 4/28) or H felis-OH and H felis-CA infected (7.1%; 2/28) than nonanemic cats (2.3% [3/128] and 0.8% [1/128], respectively). The PCR assay was more accurate than cytologic examination for detection of H felis.

Conclusion and Clinical RelevanceHaemobartonella felis infections are more common in cats than previously recognized. Haemobartonella felis-OH is apparently more pathogenic than H felis-CA. The PCR assay is more accurate than cytologic examination for detection of H felis infection and is an effective clinical tool for the detection and differentiation of both H felis strains known to infect cats. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:604–608)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To compare treatment with enrofloxacin and doxycycline with no treatment in cats experimentally infected with Haemobartonella felis.

Design—Prospective case-control study.

Animals—16 cats.

Procedure—Cats were inoculated with large-form H felis from a chronically infected donor. Cats were assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: doxycycline (5 mg/kg [2.3 mg/lb], PO, q 12 h), low-dose enrofloxacin (5 mg/kg, PO, q 24 h), high-dose enrofloxacin (10 mg/kg [4.5 mg/lb], PO, q 24 h), and an untreated control group. Clinical signs, Hct, blood smears, and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay were used to monitor progression of the infection.

Results—All cats were confirmed to be infected with H felis via blood smear evaluations and PCR assay results. Treatment had no effect on Hct during the intratreatment period, but Hct values were significantly greater in the low-dose enrofloxacin group, compared with the control group, during the posttreatment period. During the intratreatment period, H felis organism counts per 1,000 RBC in the doxycycline treatment and the high-dose enrofloxacin treatment groups decreased at a significantly faster rate than those in the control group. In the posttreatment period, organism counts in the doxycycline treatment group and the low- and high-dose enrofloxacin groups decreased at significantly faster rates than counts in the control group. There was no significant effect of treatment on the number of positive PCR assay results. Two cats treated with enrofloxacin and 1 cat treated with doxycycline completely cleared the H felis organism despite presumed immunosuppression caused by glucocorticoids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results support the hypothesis that enrofloxacin has anti-H felis effects. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;221:250–253)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of the fluoroquinolone pradofloxacin in the treatment of cats experimentally infected with Mycoplasma hemofelis.

Animals—23 young adult specific-pathogen–free cats.

Procedures—Cats were inoculated with M hemofelis from a chronically infected donor and assigned to 1 of 4 treatment groups: a doxycycline group, a low-dose–pradofloxacin group, a high-dose–pradofloxacin group, and an untreated control group. Treatment was initiated for 14 days when M hemofelis infection was detected via PCR assay and clinical signs of hemoplasmosis were present. Cats that had negative PCR assay results after treatment were administered a glucocorticoid and monitored via PCR assay for an additional 4 weeks.

Results—All cats yielded positive results for M hemofelis via conventional PCR and quantitative PCR assays and developed anemia. The low-dose–pradofloxacin group had significantly lower M hemofelis copy numbers than the doxycycline group. Six cats treated with pradofloxacin yielded negative results during treatment. Of those cats, 4 yielded negative conventional PCR assay results and all yielded negative quantitative PCR assay results for M hemofelis 1 month after administration of high-dose glucocorticoids.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pradofloxacin had anti–M hemofelis effects similar to those of doxycycline. In addition, pradofloxacin may be more effective at long-term M hemofelis organism clearance than doxycycline.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research