Clinical and serologic evaluation of cats with cryptococcosis

Bente Flatland From the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 W Drake, Fort Collins, CO 80523 (Flatland, Lappin) and Southwest Veterinary Diagnostics Inc, 13633 North Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85022 (Greene).

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Russell T. Greene From the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 W Drake, Fort Collins, CO 80523 (Flatland, Lappin) and Southwest Veterinary Diagnostics Inc, 13633 North Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85022 (Greene).

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Michael R. Lappin From the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, 300 W Drake, Fort Collins, CO 80523 (Flatland, Lappin) and Southwest Veterinary Diagnostics Inc, 13633 North Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85022 (Greene).

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Objective

To evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes and serologic changes in cryptococcal antigen and antibody titers in cats with confirmed Cryptococcus neoformans infection.

Design

Prospective case series.

Animals

47 cats with cryptococcosis.

Procedure

Cats included in this study were determined to have cryptococcosis on the basis of identification of C neoformans on histologic or cytologic examination, isolation of C neoformans in culture, or positive serologic test results for cryptococcal antigens. Information concerning the signalment, history, physical examination findings, FeLV and feline immunodeficiency virus status, serologic testing, treatment, and outcome for each cat was requested on a survey form. Follow-up measurements of serum cryptococcal antigen and antibody titers were requested for all surviving cats.

Results

Signalment and clinical signs of cats with cryptococcosis reported here were consistent with previous reports. Treatment consisted primarily of azole antifungal drugs. All cats were seronegative for cryptococcal antibodly titers, whether tested initially or at follow-up examination. All but 1 cat tested were seropositive for cryptococeal antigens when initially tested. Cats with and without clinical signs of C neoformans infection were seropositive for cryptococcal antigens months to years after initial diagnosis of cryptococcosis.

Clinical Implications

The results of this study indicate that serum titers to cryptococcal antigens in cats can persist with or without clinical signs for months to years after an initial diagnosis of cryptococcosis is made. Repeated evaluation of serum cryptococcal antigen titers is advised during the treatment of cats to monitor progress, evaluate prognosis, and guide cessation of treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1110-1113)

Objective

To evaluate the long-term clinical outcomes and serologic changes in cryptococcal antigen and antibody titers in cats with confirmed Cryptococcus neoformans infection.

Design

Prospective case series.

Animals

47 cats with cryptococcosis.

Procedure

Cats included in this study were determined to have cryptococcosis on the basis of identification of C neoformans on histologic or cytologic examination, isolation of C neoformans in culture, or positive serologic test results for cryptococcal antigens. Information concerning the signalment, history, physical examination findings, FeLV and feline immunodeficiency virus status, serologic testing, treatment, and outcome for each cat was requested on a survey form. Follow-up measurements of serum cryptococcal antigen and antibody titers were requested for all surviving cats.

Results

Signalment and clinical signs of cats with cryptococcosis reported here were consistent with previous reports. Treatment consisted primarily of azole antifungal drugs. All cats were seronegative for cryptococcal antibodly titers, whether tested initially or at follow-up examination. All but 1 cat tested were seropositive for cryptococeal antigens when initially tested. Cats with and without clinical signs of C neoformans infection were seropositive for cryptococcal antigens months to years after initial diagnosis of cryptococcosis.

Clinical Implications

The results of this study indicate that serum titers to cryptococcal antigens in cats can persist with or without clinical signs for months to years after an initial diagnosis of cryptococcosis is made. Repeated evaluation of serum cryptococcal antigen titers is advised during the treatment of cats to monitor progress, evaluate prognosis, and guide cessation of treatment. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1110-1113)

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