Laboratory diagnostics of selected feline respiratory pathogens and their prevalence in the Czech Republic

https://doi.org/10.17221/93/2017-VETMEDCitation:Lobova D., Kleinova V., Konvalinova J., Cerna P., Molinkova D. (2019): Laboratory diagnostics of selected feline respiratory pathogens and their prevalence in the Czech Republic. Veterinarni Medicina, 64: 25-32.
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Respiratory problems in cats have a multifactorial character. Therapy without the detection of pathogen is often ineffective. Our study was therefore focused on the detection of important feline respiratory bacterial pathogens such as Mycoplasma felis, Chlamydia felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica and viral pathogens such as Felid alphaherpesvirus-1 and feline calicivirus. The goal of this study was to map the occurrence of these pathogens in cat populations in the Czech Republic with the aim of introducing rapid and highly sensitive methods into routine diagnostics and to provide consulting services to animal health professionals based on the acquired data. A total of 218 cats were investigated in the study: 69 were outdoor and 149 were indoor cats. Three groups of animals were compared: up to one year of age (60 cats), one to three years of age (68 cats) and more than three years of age (90 cats). Samples were taken from conjunctiva and/or the oropharynx. Samples originated from cats with various forms of respiratory disease or from healthy cats from different parts of the Czech Republic. Real-Time RT-PCR, multiplex Real-Time PCR, nested PCR and sequencing analyses were performed. Outdoor cats were infected more often (84 detected pathogens in 69 cats) than indoor cats (110 detected infections in 149 cats). More than one pathogen was detected in a total of 38 cats, and six cats were infected with more than two pathogens. The difference was statistically significant in the case of co-infections, but not for mono-infections (P < 0.05). Kittens and young adults up to the age of one year were the most common reservoirs of respiratory infections (only 19 cats out of 60 were negative and positive cats often harboured coinfections). The difference in age groups were not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Concerning the site of the sampling, feline calicivirus, M. felis and B. bronchiseptica were detected more often from oropharynx than from conjunctival swabs. M. felis was slightly more common in clinically diseased animals (39.6%) than in healthy ones (26.1%). The obtained results reveal the frequency of individual pathogens and their co-infections in cats kept on the territory of the Czech Republic, data which can be used to make the treatment of respiratory infections and breeding measures more effective. Therefore, the diagnostic methods are now available to veterinary surgeons with the possibility of consultation and discussion of the results.

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