Seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara catiin feral and pet domestic cats

Felicia B. Nutter Environmental Medicine Consortium, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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 DVM
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J. P. Dubey Animal Parasitic Disease Laboratory, Building 1001, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705.

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 MVSc, PhD
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Jay F. Levine Environmental Medicine Consortium, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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 DVM, MPH
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Edward B. Breitschwerdt Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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 DVM, PhD, DACVIM
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Richard B. Ford Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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Michael K. Stoskopf Environmental Medicine Consortium, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606.

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 DVM, PhD, DACZM

Abstract

Objective—To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey.

Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC.

Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested.

Results—Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B henselae and T gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B henselae and T gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1394–1398)

Abstract

Objective—To compare seroprevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Toxoplasma gondii and fecal shedding of Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and Toxocara cati in feral and pet domestic cats.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional serologic and coprologic survey.

Animals—100 feral cats and 76 pet domestic cats from Randolph County, NC.

Procedure—Blood and fecal samples were collected and tested.

Results—Percentages of feral cats seropositive for antibodies against B henselae and T gondii (93% and 63%, respectively) were significantly higher than percentages of pet cats (75% and 34%). Percentages of feral and pet cats with Cryptosporidium spp (7% of feral cats; 6% of pet cats), Giardia spp (6% of feral cats; 5% of pet cats), and T cati ova (21% of feral cats; 18% of pet cats) in their feces were not significantly different between populations. Results of CBCs and serum biochemical analyses were not significantly different between feral and pet cats, except that feral cats had a significantly lower median PCV and significantly higher median neutrophil count.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that feral and pet cats had similar baseline health status, as reflected by results of hematologic and serum biochemical testing and similar prevalences of infection with Cryptosporidium spp, Giardia spp, and T cati. Feral cats did have higher seroprevalences of antibodies against B henselae and T gondii than did pet cats, but this likely was related to greater exposure to vectors of these organisms. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1394–1398)

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