Publications by authors named "Julia Beatty"

72 Publications

Complete clinical response to combined antifungal therapy in two cats with invasive fungal rhinosinusitis caused by cryptic species in section .

Med Mycol Case Rep 2021 Dec 2;34:13-17. Epub 2021 Sep 2.

University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.

Cryptic species in section are increasingly reported to cause invasive aspergillosis in humans and animals. These infections are often refractory to treatment because of intrinsic antifungal resistance. We report two cases of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis in domestic cats caused by and . Clinical signs resolved after combined therapy including posaconazole, caspofungin and terbinafine. Both cases remained asymptomatic more than 2 years from initial presentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mmcr.2021.08.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8437771PMC
December 2021

Disseminated invasive aspergillosis caused by Aspergillus felis in a cat.

J Vet Intern Med 2021 Aug 20. Epub 2021 Aug 20.

Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, SAR China.

A 2-year-old male desexed Ragdoll cat with a 1-year history of sneezing and nasal discharge presented with a large subcutaneous cervical mass, identified as the right medial retropharyngeal lymph node on computed tomography (CT). A right orbital mass, destructive sino-nasal cavity disease and multiple pulmonary nodules were also identified. Aspergillus felis was cultured from the lymph node. After treatment with posaconazole and liposomal amphotericin B the lymph node enlargement and orbital mass resolved but left frontal sinus involvement and pulmonary lesions persisted despite additional caspofungin therapy. The cat was euthanized 14 months after diagnosis with dysphagia and chronic progressive exophthalmos. A meningeal granuloma with intravascular fungal hyphae was identified at post-mortem and A felis was cultured from the left frontal sinus and a right retrobulbar fungal granuloma. This case demonstrates that disseminated disease is a possible sequel to invasive fungal rhinosinusitis caused by A felis in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16245DOI Listing
August 2021

Canine parvovirus is shed infrequently by cats without diarrhoea in multi-cat environments.

Vet Microbiol 2021 Oct 10;261:109204. Epub 2021 Aug 10.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia; Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine & Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China. Electronic address:

Whether subclinical shedding of canine parvovirus (CPV) by cats might contribute to the epidemiology of canine CPV infections, particularly in facilities housing both cats and dogs, requires clarification. Conflicting results are reported to date. Using conventional PCR (cPCR) to amplify the VP2 gene, shedding of the CPV variants (CPV-2a, 2b, 2c) by healthy cats in multi-cat environments was reportedly common in Europe but rare in Australia. The aim of this study was to determine whether low-level faecal CPV shedding occurs in multi-cat environments in Australia and Italy using a TaqMan real-time PCR to detect Carnivore protoparvovirus 1 (CPV and feline parvovirus, FPV) DNA, and minor-groove binder probe real-time PCR assay to differentiate FPV and CPV types and to characterize CPV variants. In total, 741 non-diarrhoeic faecal samples from shelters in Australia (n = 263) and from shelters or cat colonies in Italy (n = 478) were tested. Overall, Carnivore protoparvovirus 1 DNA was detected in 49 of 741 (6.61 %) samples. Differentiation was possible for 31 positive samples. FPV was most common among positive samples (28/31, 90.3 %). CPV was detected in 4/31 samples (12.9 %) including CPV-2a in one sample, CPV-2b in another and co-infections of FPV/CPV-2b and CPV-2a/CPV-2b in the remaining two samples. A high rate of subclinical FPV infection was detected in one shelter during an outbreak of feline panleukopenia, during which 21 of 22 asymptomatic cats (95.5 %) sampled were shedding FPV. Faecal shedding of CPV by cats in multi-cat environments is uncommon suggesting that domestic cats are not significant reservoirs of CPV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2021.109204DOI Listing
October 2021

Dysbiosis of the Urinary Bladder Microbiome in Cats with Chronic Kidney Disease.

mSystems 2021 Aug 27;6(4):e0051021. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Centre for Companion Animal Health, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Konggrid.35030.35, Hong Kong SAR.

Although feline urinary tract diseases cause high morbidity and mortality rates, and subclinical bacteriuria is not uncommon, the feline urinary microbiome has not been characterized. We conducted a case-control study to identify the feline urinary bladder microbiome and assess its association with chronic kidney disease (CKD), feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC), and positive urine cultures (PUCs). Of 108 feline urine samples subjected to 16S rRNA gene sequencing, 48 (44.4%) samples reached the 500-sequence rarefaction threshold and were selected for further analysis, suggesting that the feline bladder microbiome is typically sparse. Selected samples included 17 CKD, 9 FIC, 8 PUC cases and 14 controls. Among these, 19 phyla, 145 families, and 218 genera were identified. were the most abundant, followed by . Notably, four major urotypes were identified, including two urotypes predominated by Escherichia or and two others characterized by relatively high alpha diversity, Diverse 1 and Diverse 2. Urotype was associated with disease status ( value of 0.040), with the Escherichia-predominant urotype being present in 53% of CKD cases and in all of the Escherichia coli PUC cases. Reflecting these patterns, the overall microbial composition of CKD cases was more similar to that of E. coli PUC cases than to that of controls ( value of <0.001). Finally, PUC cases had microbial compositions distinct from those of controls as well as CKD and FIC cases, with significantly lower Shannon diversity and Faith's phylogenetic diversity values. Despite the clinical importance of urinary diseases in cats, the presence of resident urine microbes has not been demonstrated in cats, and the role of these microbes as a community in urinary health remains unknown. Here, we have shown that cats with and without urinary tract disease harbor unique microbial communities in their urine. We found no evidence to suggest that the bladder microbiome is implicated in the pathogenesis of feline idiopathic cystitis, a disease similar to bladder pain syndrome/interstitial cystitis in humans. However, cats with chronic kidney disease had dysbiosis of their bladder microbiome, which was predominated by Escherichia and had a community structure similar to that of cats with Escherichia coli cystitis. These findings suggest that chronic kidney disease alters the bladder environment to favor Escherichia colonization, potentially increasing the risk of overt clinical infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mSystems.00510-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8407359PMC
August 2021

Advances in Feline Viruses and Viral Diseases.

Viruses 2021 05 17;13(5). Epub 2021 May 17.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Viral diseases play a very important role in feline medicine, and research on feline viruses and viral diseases is a well-established field that helps to safeguard the health of domestic cats and non-domestic felids, many of which are endangered [...].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13050923DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8156448PMC
May 2021

Cross-species transmission of retroviruses among domestic and wild felids in human-occupied landscapes in Chile.

Evol Appl 2021 Apr 27;14(4):1070-1082. Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Instituto de Ecología y Biodiversidad (IEB) Santiago Chile.

Human transformation of natural habitats facilitates pathogen transmission between domestic and wild species. The guigna (), a small felid found in Chile, has experienced habitat loss and an increased probability of contact with domestic cats. Here, we describe the interspecific transmission of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) between domestic cats and guignas and assess its correlation with human landscape perturbation. Blood and tissue samples from 102 free-ranging guignas and 262 domestic cats were collected and analyzed by PCR and sequencing. Guigna and domestic cat FeLV and FIV prevalence were very similar. Phylogenetic analysis showed guigna FeLV and FIV sequences are positioned within worldwide domestic cat virus clades with high nucleotide similarity. Guigna FeLV infection was significantly associated with fragmented landscapes with resident domestic cats. There was little evidence of clinical signs of disease in guignas. Our results contribute to the understanding of the implications of landscape perturbation and emerging diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eva.13181DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8061269PMC
April 2021

Author Correction: Mapping the genetic basis of diabetes mellitus in the Australian Burmese cat (Felis catus).

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 17;11(1):4375. Epub 2021 Feb 17.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83769-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7889845PMC
February 2021

A longitudinal observational study in two cats naturally-infected with hepadnavirus.

Vet Microbiol 2021 Mar 22;254:108999. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano, Italy. Electronic address:

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of liver disease in humans including chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Domestic cat hepadnavirus (DCH), a novel HBV-like hepadnavirus, was identified in domestic cats in 2018. From 6.5 %-10.8 % of pet cats are viremic for DCH and altered serological markers suggestive of liver damage have been identified in 50 % of DCH-infected cats. DCH DNA has been detected in association with characteristic lesions of chronic hepatitis and with hepatocellular carcinoma in cats, suggesting a possible association. In this study longitudinal molecular screening of cats infected with DCH was performed to determine if DCH can cause chronic infections in cats. Upon re-testing of sera from five DCH-positive animals, 2-10 months after the initial diagnosis, three cats tested negative for DCH on two consecutive occasions using quantitative PCR. Two other cats remained DCH-positive, including an 8-month-old female cat re-tested four months after the initial positive result, and a 9-year-old male cat, which tested positive for DCH on six occasions over an 11-month period. The latter had a history of chronic hepatopathy with jaundice, lethargy and elevated serum alanine transaminase levels (ALT). During the period of observation, DCH titers ranged between 1.64 × 10 and 2.09 × 10 DNA copies/mL and ALT was persistently elevated, suggesting chronic infection. DCH DNA was not detected in oral, conjunctival, preputial and rectal swabs from the two animals collected at several time points. Long-term (chronic) infection would be consistent with the relatively high number of viremic cats identified in epidemiological investigations, with the possible association of DCH with chronic hepatic pathologies and with what described with HBV in human patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2021.108999DOI Listing
March 2021

A shift towards early-age desexing of cats under veterinary care in Australia.

Sci Rep 2021 01 18;11(1):811. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, 2006, Australia.

The global problem of unowned domestic cats, driven by their phenomenal reproductive success, carries significant economic, animal welfare and biodiversity costs. Desexing owned cats prior to puberty prevents unwanted litters that contribute to unowned cat populations. The prevalence and predictors of desexing, and the age at which surgery was carried out were investigated using anonymized electronic patient records in the VetCompass Australia database of cats presented to veterinary practices. Of 52,941 cats born between 2010 and 2017, 83.6% were desexed. Among 7463 desexed females, 21.5% had been desexed by 4 months of age, 59.8% by 6 months and 85.4% by 1 year. Sex, breed, location and socioeconomic indices significantly influenced desexing status and age at surgery. Cats born between 2010 and 2017 had greater odds of being desexed than cats born between 1995and 2009 at each age cut-off (≤ 4 months [OR 1.76, CI 1.58-1.97], ≤ 6 months [OR 1.50, CI 1.38-1.62] and ≤ 1 year [OR 2.33, CI 2.11-2.57] p < 0.001). Most cats presented to veterinarians in Australia are desexed. Compared with cats born before 2010, cats born later are significantly younger at desexing but, even so, many cats would have reached sexual maturity before surgery. These findings will inform the design of front-line strategies promoting prepubertal desexing and they demonstrate, for the first time, a shift towards desexing younger cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-79513-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813850PMC
January 2021

Identification of Novel Astroviruses in the Gastrointestinal Tract of Domestic Cats.

Viruses 2020 11 12;12(11). Epub 2020 Nov 12.

School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Astroviruses, isolated from numerous avian and mammalian species including humans, are commonly associated with enteritis and encephalitis. Two astroviruses have previously been identified in cats, and while definitive evidence is lacking, an association with enteritis is suggested. Using metagenomic next-generation sequencing of viral nucleic acids from faecal samples, we identified two novel feline astroviruses termed Feline astrovirus 3 and 4. These viruses were isolated from healthy shelter-housed kittens (Feline astrovirus 3; 6448 bp) and from a kitten with diarrhoea that was co-infected with Feline parvovirus (Feline astrovirus 4, 6549 bp). Both novel astroviruses shared a genome arrangement of three open reading frames (ORFs) comparable to that of other astroviruses. Phylogenetic analysis of the concatenated ORFs, ORF1a, ORF1b and capsid protein revealed that both viruses were phylogenetically distinct from other feline astroviruses, although their precise evolutionary history could not be accurately determined due to a lack of resolution at key nodes. Large-scale molecular surveillance studies of healthy and diseased cats are needed to determine the pathogenicity of feline astroviruses as single virus infections or in co-infections with other enteric viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12111301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7697530PMC
November 2020

Mapping the genetic basis of diabetes mellitus in the Australian Burmese cat (Felis catus).

Sci Rep 2020 11 5;10(1):19194. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Diabetes mellitus, a common endocrinopathy affecting domestic cats, shares many clinical and pathologic features with type 2 diabetes in humans. In Australia and Europe, diabetes mellitus is almost four times more common among Burmese cats than in other breeds. As a genetically isolated population, the diabetic Australian Burmese cat provides a spontaneous genetic model for studying diabetes mellitus in humans. Studying complex diseases in pedigreed breeds facilitates tighter control of confounding factors including population stratification, allelic frequencies and environmental heterogeneity. We used the feline SNV array and whole genome sequence data to undertake a genome wide-association study and runs of homozygosity analysis, of a case-control cohort of Australian and European Burmese cats. Our results identified diabetes-associated haplotypes across chromosomes A3, B1 and E1 and selective sweeps across the Burmese breed on chromosomes B1, B3, D1 and D4. The locus on chromosome B1, common to both analyses, revealed coding and splice region variants in candidate genes, ANK1, EPHX2 and LOX2, implicated in diabetes mellitus and lipid dysregulation. Mapping this condition in Burmese cats has revealed a polygenic spectrum, implicating loci linked to pancreatic beta cell dysfunction, lipid dysregulation and insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus in the Burmese cat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-76166-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7644637PMC
November 2020

Analysis of canine parvoviruses circulating in Australia reveals predominance of variant 2b and identifies feline parvovirus-like mutations in the capsid proteins.

Transbound Emerg Dis 2021 Mar 29;68(2):656-666. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.

Canine parvovirus (CPV) is a major enteric pathogen of dogs worldwide that emerged in the late 1970s from a feline parvovirus (FPV)-like ancestral virus. Shortly after its emergence, variant CPVs acquired amino acid (aa) mutations in key capsid residues, associated with biological and/or antigenic changes. This study aimed to identify and analyse CPV variants and their capsid mutations amongst Australian dogs, to gain insights into the evolution of CPV in Australia and to investigate relationships between the disease and vaccination status of dogs from which viruses were detected. CPV VP2 sequences were amplified from 79 faecal samples collected from dogs with parvoviral enteritis at 20 veterinary practices in five Australian states. The median age at diagnosis was 4 months (range 1-96 months). Only 3.7% of dogs with vaccination histories had completed recommended vaccination schedules, while 49% were incompletely vaccinated and 47.2% were unvaccinated. For the first time, CPV-2b has emerged as the dominant antigenic CPV variant circulating in dogs with parvoviral enteritis in Australia, comprising 54.4% of viruses, while CPV-2a and CPV-2 comprised 43.1% and 2.5%, respectively. The antigenic variant CPV-2c was not identified. Analysis of translated VP2 sequences revealed a vast repertoire of amino acid (aa) mutations. Several Australian CPV strains displayed signatures in the VP2 protein typical of Asian CPVs, suggesting possible introduction of CPV strains from Asia, and/or CPV circulation between Asia and Australia. Canine parvoviruses were identified containing aa residues typical of FPV at key capsid (VP2) positions, representing reverse mutations or residual mutations retained from CPV-2 during adaptation from an FPV-like ancestor, suggesting that evolutionary intermediates between CPV-2 and FPV are circulating in the field. Similarly, intermediates between CPV-2a-like viruses and CPV-2 were also identified. These findings help inform a better understanding of the evolution of CPV in dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/tbed.13727DOI Listing
March 2021

Feline Parvovirus Seroprevalence Is High in Domestic Cats from Disease Outbreak and Non-Outbreak Regions in Australia.

Viruses 2020 03 16;12(3). Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia.

Multiple, epizootic outbreaks of feline panleukopenia (FPL) caused by feline parvovirus(FPV) occurred in eastern Australia between 2014 and 2018. Most affected cats were unvaccinated.We hypothesised that low population immunity was a major driver of re-emergent FPL. The aim ofthis study was to (i) determine the prevalence and predictors of seroprotective titres to FPV amongshelter-housed and owned cats, and (ii) compare the prevalence of seroprotection between a regionaffected and unaffected by FPL outbreaks. FPV antibodies were detected by haemagglutinationinhibition assay on sera from 523 cats and titres ≥1:40 were considered protective. Socioeconomicindices based on postcode and census data were included in the risk factor analysis. The prevalenceof protective FPV antibody titres was high overall (94.3%), even though only 42% of cats wereknown to be vaccinated, and was not significantly different between outbreak and non-outbreakregions. On multivariable logistic regression analysis vaccinated cats were 29.94 times more likelyto have protective FPV titres than cats not known to be vaccinated. Cats from postcodes of relativelyless socioeconomic disadvantage were 5.93 times more likely to have protective FPV titres. Thepredictors identified for FPV seroprotective titres indicate targeted vaccination strategies in regionsof socioeconomic disadvantage would be beneficial to increase population immunity. The criticallevel of vaccine coverage required to halt FPV transmission and prevent FPL outbreaks should bedetermined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12030320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7150783PMC
March 2020

Identification of A Novel Papillomavirus Associated with Squamous Cell Carcinoma in A Domestic Cat.

Viruses 2020 01 20;12(1). Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia.

Papillomaviruses infect the skin and mucosal surfaces of diverse animal hosts with consequences ranging from asymptomatic colonization to highly malignant epithelial cancers. Increasing evidence suggests a role for papillomaviruses in the most common cutaneous malignancy of domestic cats, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). Using total DNA sequencing we identified a novel feline papillomavirus in a nasal biopsy taken from a cat presenting with both nasal cavity lymphoma and recurrent squamous cell carcinoma affecting the nasal planum. We designate this novel virus as Felis catus papillomavirus 6 (FcaPV6). The complete FcaPV6 7453 bp genome was similar to those of other feline papillomaviruses and phylogenetic analysis revealed that it was most closely related to FcaPV3, although was distinct enough to represent a new viral type. Classification of FcaPV6 in a new genus alongside FcaPVs 3, 4 and 5 is supported. Archived excisional biopsy of the SCC, taken 20 months prior to presentation, was intensely positive on p16 immunostaining. FcaPV6, amplified using virus-specific, but not consensus, PCR, was the only papillomavirus detected in DNA extracted from the SCC. Conversely, renal lymphoma, sampled at necropsy two months after presentation, tested negative on FcaPV6-specific PCR. In sum, using metagenomics we demonstrate the presence of a novel feline papillomavirus in association with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12010124DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019393PMC
January 2020

Seroprevalence and Risk Factors for Infection in Owned Domestic Cats in Australia.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 2020 04 30;20(4):275-280. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.

Ongoing surveillance of seroprevalence and exposure risks in owned cats is important to identify effective mechanisms to decrease the prevalence of this global zoonotic parasite. We aimed to determine the seroprevalence of and risk factors for seropositivity in owned domestic cats in Australia. Sera, signalment data, postcode, and completed owner-questionnaires surveying diet composition and lifestyle factors were collected for cats presenting to 18 veterinary clinics across Australia. -specific IgG was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Data were analyzed using univariable and multivariable logistic regression to evaluate risk factors associated with positive IgG serology. Among 417 cats, seroprevalence was 39%. More than two-thirds of cats tested (69%) had outdoor access and 59% were fed a diet containing raw meat. Univariable analyses identified, age (>1 year,  < 0.001), a diet containing any raw meat ( = 0.001), raw kangaroo ( = 0.008), raw chicken ( = 0.012), or raw beef ( = 0.017), and hunting ( = 0.049) as risk factors for infection. Age (>1 year, odds ratio [OR]: 7.15) and feeding of raw meat (OR: 2.23) remained significant risk factors ( < 0.001) in multivariable analyses. seroprevalence did not differ between cats domiciled in urban and semiurban or rural areas. Pet cats in Australia are commonly infected with . Feeding raw meat to cats, a common practice in Australia, is associated with infection, highlighting the need for education about the health implications for cats from feeding a diet containing raw meat.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/vbz.2019.2520DOI Listing
April 2020

Distinct Lineages of Feline Parvovirus Associated with Epizootic Outbreaks in Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

Viruses 2019 12 13;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 13.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW 2050, Australia.

Feline panleukopenia (FPL), a frequently fatal disease of cats, is caused by feline parvovirus (FPV) or canine parvovirus (CPV). We investigated simultaneous outbreaks of FPL between 2014 and 2018 in Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where FPL outbreaks had not been reported for several decades. Case data from 989 cats and clinical samples from additional 113 cats were obtained to determine the cause of the outbreaks and epidemiological factors involved. Most cats with FPL were shelter-housed, 9 to 10 weeks old at diagnosis, unvaccinated, had not completed a primary vaccination series or had received vaccinations noncompliant with current guidelines. Analysis of parvoviral VP2 sequence data confirmed that all FPL cases were caused by FPV and not CPV. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that each of these outbreaks was caused by a distinct FPV, with two virus lineages present in eastern Australia and virus movement between different geographical locations. Viruses from the UAE outbreak formed a lineage of unknown origin. FPV vaccine virus was detected in the New Zealand cases, highlighting the difficulty of distinguishing the co-incidental shedding of vaccine virus in vaccinated cats. Inadequate vaccination coverage in shelter-housed cats was a common factor in all outbreaks, likely precipitating the multiple re-emergence of infection events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11121155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950618PMC
December 2019

Population Characteristics of Cats Adopted from an Urban Cat Shelter and the Influence of Physical Traits and Reason for Surrender on Length of Stay.

Animals (Basel) 2019 Nov 8;9(11). Epub 2019 Nov 8.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Measures aimed at reducing the length of stay (LOS) of cats in shelters can promote animal welfare and more efficient use of resources. The extent to which variables shown to impact LOS are broadly applicable is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe a population of cats adopted from an urban shelter, and to analyze the association between potential predictor variables and LOS. A study cohort was identified retrospectively from shelter records ( = 2584), 48.8% of which were < 12 weeks old at admission, and 80.7% were stray. Among 445 cats relinquished by owners, reasons for surrender were primarily owner-related (87.2%). Overall, reason for surrender and coat color were significantly associated with LOS. Hazard ratios showed that all reasons for surrender for owner-relinquished cats were associated with a shorter LOS than stray cats and this association was significant ( < 0.05) for all except cat behavioral or medical reasons. In contrast to previous reports, white cats had a significantly ( < 0.05) longer LOS than black cats. This study highlights an important role for shelter-specific baseline data to inform and measure the effect of interventional studies aimed at improving animal welfare by reducing LOS in shelter-housed cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani9110940DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6912321PMC
November 2019

Prevalence and risk factors for Felis catus gammaherpesvirus 1 detection in domestic cats in Italy.

Vet Microbiol 2019 Nov 22;238:108426. Epub 2019 Sep 22.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano, Bari, Italy. Electronic address:

Felis catus gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1), a novel gammaherpesvirus of domestic cats identified in 2014, has been detected in different countries demonstrating a worldwide distribution. The aim of this study was to establish the prevalence of FcaGHV1 in Italy using a molecular epidemiological approach. FcaGHV1 DNA was detected with virus-specific real-time PCR in ≃1% of 2659 feline blood samples tested. Analysis of risk factors showed that being male and coinfection with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) increase the likelihood of FcaGHV1 detection. One-third of FcaGHV1-positive cats also tested positive for FIV provirus, whereas coinfections with feline panleukopenia virus were not demonstrated. Further studies are necessary to confirm the risk factors for FcaGHV1 detection and the pathobiology of the virus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.108426DOI Listing
November 2019

A Novel Hepadnavirus is Associated with Chronic Hepatitis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Cats.

Viruses 2019 10 21;11(10). Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Camperdown, NSW 2006, Australia.

In 2015, over 850,000 people died from chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV). A novel hepatitis B-like virus has recently been identified in domestic cats. The pathogenic potential of domestic cat hepadnavirus (DCH), for which 6.5% to 10.8% of pet cats are viremic, is unknown. We evaluated stored formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded biopsies of diseased and normal feline liver for the presence of DCH using PCR and in situ hybridization (ISH). DCH was detected in 43% (6/14) of chronic hepatitis cases and 28% (8/29) of HCCs, whereas cholangitis ( = 6), biliary carcinoma ( = 18) and normal liver ( = 15) all tested negative for DCH. Furthermore, in DCH-associated cases, the histologic features of inflammation and neoplasia, and the viral distribution on ISH were strikingly similar to those seen with HBV-associated disease. Several histological features common in human HBV-associated hepatitis, including piecemeal necrosis and apoptotic bodies, were identified in DCH-positive cases of chronic hepatitis. In two cases of HCC examined, the proliferation index in regions that were ISH-positive was higher than in ISH-negative regions. The intracellular distribution of virus in both hepatitis and HCC demonstrated that viral nucleic acid is present in both nuclear and cytoplasmic forms. Collectively, these findings demonstrate a compelling association between DCH and some cases of chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma in the cat that mirrors features of HBV-associated hepatopathies. Future investigations of viral epidemiology and natural history are needed to establish the impact of DCH on feline health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11100969DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6832243PMC
October 2019

Identification of hepadnavirus in the sera of cats.

Sci Rep 2019 07 23;9(1):10668. Epub 2019 Jul 23.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, Valenzano, Italy.

Hepadnaviruses infect several animal species. The prototype species, human hepatitis B virus (HBV), increases the risk of liver diseases and may cause cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Recently a novel hepadnavirus, similar to HBV, has been identified through transcriptomics studies in a domestic cat with large cell lymphoma in Australia. Herewith, a collection of 390 feline serum samples was screened for hepadnavirus. Overall, the virus was identified in 10.8% of the sera with a significantly higher prevalence (17.8%) in the sera of animals with a clinical suspect of infectious disease. Upon genome sequencing, the virus was closely related (97.0% nt identity) to the prototype Australian feline virus Sydney 2016. The mean and median values of hepadnavirus in the feline sera were 1.3 × 10 and 2.1 × 10 genome copies per mL (range 3.3 × 10-2.5 × 10 genome copies per mL). For a subset of hepadnavirus-positive samples, information on the hemato-chemical parameters was available and in 10/20 animals a profile suggestive of liver damage was present. Also, in 7/10 animals with suspected hepatic disease, virus load was >10 genome copies per mL, i.e. above the threshold considered at risk of active hepatitis and liver damage for HBV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47175-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6650429PMC
July 2019

Feline Foamy Virus Infection: Characterization of Experimental Infection and Prevalence of Natural Infection in Domestic Cats with and without Chronic Kidney Disease.

Viruses 2019 07 19;11(7). Epub 2019 Jul 19.

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA.

Foamy viruses (FVs) are globally prevalent retroviruses that establish apparently apathogenic lifelong infections. Feline FV (FFV) has been isolated from domestic cats with concurrent diseases, including urinary syndromes. We experimentally infected five cats with FFV to study viral kinetics and tropism, peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) phenotype, urinary parameters, and histopathology. A persistent infection of primarily lymphoid tropism was detected with no evidence of immunological or hematologic perturbations. One cat with a significant negative correlation between lymphocytes and PBMC proviral load displayed an expanded FFV tissue tropism. Significantly increased blood urea nitrogen and ultrastructural kidney changes were noted in all experimentally infected cats, though chemistry parameters were not outside of normal ranges. Histopathological changes were observed in the brain, large intestine, and other tissues. In order to determine if there is an association of FFV with Chronic Kidney Disease, we additionally screened 125 Australian pet cats with and without CKD for FFV infection and found that FFV is highly prevalent in older cats, particularly in males with CKD, though this difference was not statistically significant compared to controls. Acute FFV infection was clinically silent, and while some measures indicated mild changes, there was no overt association of FFV infection with renal disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11070662DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6669521PMC
July 2019

Suspected adverse drug interaction between spinosad and milbemycin oxime in a cat.

JFMS Open Rep 2019 Jan-Jun;5(1):2055116918820733. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Sydney, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.

Case Summary: A 12-year-old male neutered Tonkinese cat was presented for acute ataxia, weakness, altered mentation and generalised tremors. The cat had been administered oral spinosad (140 mg; 33.5 mg/kg) 48 h prior to the onset of clinical signs, and an oral anthelmintic containing milbemycin oxime (16 mg; 3.8 mg/kg) and praziquantel (40 mg; 9.6 mg/kg) 12 h before the onset of clinical signs. On physical examination, dull-to-obtunded mentation, tetraparesis, ataxia and mild tremors of facial, limb and trunk muscles were noted. Serum biochemical changes and urinalysis were consistent with haemoconcentration. The results of a complete blood count, urine culture and serology for feline leukaemia virus, feline immunodeficiency virus and cryptococcal antigen were negative. The patient was monitored in hospital and all clinical signs resolved within 24 h.

Relevance And Novel Information: The neurological signs in this case were consistent with macrocyclic lactone neurotoxicity, which is suspected to have occurred from an adverse drug interaction between spinosad and milbemycin oxime. This report serves to highlight the potential for this adverse drug interaction between these commonly used prophylactic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/2055116918820733DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6330730PMC
January 2019

Novel viruses: Update on the significance of papillomavirus infections in cats.

J Feline Med Surg 2019 05 27;21(5):409-418. Epub 2018 Nov 27.

University of Sydney, Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, NSW 2006, Australia.

Practical Relevance: Prior to 1990 papillomaviruses (PVs) were not recognised to infect or cause disease in domestic cats. Since this time, the use of histology, immunohistochemistry and, more recently, molecular techniques has revealed that PVs almost certainly cause feline viral plaques and Bowenoid in situ carcinomas, oral papillomas and feline sarcoids. In addition, there is increasing evidence that PVs play a significant role in the development of feline cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas, one of the most common skin cancers of cats. Recent studies have also revealed that most cats are asymptomatically infected with PVs. This raises a critical question that is currently unanswered: why do only a small proportion of infected cats develop disease? In the future it may be possible to prevent PV-induced diseases by using a vaccine to prevent PV infection. Alternatively, novel therapies may be developed that prevent PVs from causing clinical disease by stimulating the host immune response.

Clinical Challenges: A recognition of the skin diseases caused by PVs is important to more accurately predict disease progression. Unfortunately, there are currently no non-surgical treatments that have been proven to be beneficial in cats and clinical management of PV-induced skin disease in cats can be challenging.

Global Importance: PVs have a worldwide distribution and negatively impact feline health and welfare globally.

Audience: This review is aimed at clinicians, especially those who regularly treat cats with skin disease. The review will also be useful to oncologists and researchers who have an interest in how cancer develops in cats.

Evidence Base: In producing this update the authors have drawn on recently published peer-reviewed literature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X18808105DOI Listing
May 2019

Novel feline viruses: Emerging significance of gammaherpesvirus and morbillivirus infections.

J Feline Med Surg 2019 01 26;21(1):5-11. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

4 School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Palmerston North, 4410, New Zealand.

Practical Relevance: New technologies capable of sequencing the genetic material in any given biological sample, combined with computer-based algorithms for sequence assembly and analysis, have revolutionised infectious disease research. The rate at which novel viruses are being discovered now exceeds our understanding of their clinical relevance. Novel viruses may contribute to diseases that are major causes of feline morbidity and mortality, including cancer and chronic kidney disease. The identification of new viral pathogens raises the prospect of not only improved patient outcomes through specific treatment but even disease prevention through viral control measures.

Clinical Challenges: It can be difficult to determine the role of a novel virus in disease development. Disease may be an occasional outcome, often years after infection. A high prevalence of infection in the general population can make disease associations harder to identify and almost impossible to rule out. Host cofactors such as immune dysfunction, genetic background or coinfections may be required for manifestation of disease, and one virus species may be linked to a range of pathological sequelae. Establishing causality relies on evaluating accumulating evidence from multiple investigations, which is often hard to access by practitioners.

Global Importance: The worldwide distribution of gammaherpesvirus and morbillivirus infections in domestic cats underlines the potential of these viruses to negatively impact feline health and welfare globally.

Evidence Base: This review relies on grade la-III evidence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X18808102DOI Listing
January 2019

Transcriptome Analysis and In Situ Hybridization for FcaGHV1 in Feline Lymphoma.

Viruses 2018 08 30;10(9). Epub 2018 Aug 30.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Lymphoma is one of the most common malignancies in domestic cats. The lymphomagenic potential of gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1), a common infection in domestic cats, is unknown. In other species, including humans, cellular transformation by gammaherpesviruses is typically mediated by viral genes expressed during latency. We analysed tumour RNA, from diffuse large B-cell lymphomas (DLBCL) appearing in cats coinfected with FcaGHV1 and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) ( = 10), by high throughput transcriptome sequencing and reverse transcription PCR. A limited repertoire of FcaGHV transcripts was identified in five tumors, including homologs of oncogenic latency-associated transcripts, latency-associated nuclear antigen (LANA, ORF73) and vFLIP (F7), lytic genes (ORF50, ORF6, ORF59, F10), and an ORF unique to FcaGHV1, F20. In situ hybridization of FIV-associated DLBCLs ( = 9), post-transplant lymphomas ( = 6) and high-grade B and T-cell intestinal lymphomas ( = 8) identified a single case in which FcaGHV1 nucleic acid was detectable. These results demonstrate that FcaGHV1 transcripts can be detected in some FIV-associated lymphomas, but at low copy number, precluding assessment of a potential role for FcaGHV1 in lymphomagenesis. Future investigation of the FcaGHV1 transcriptome in clinical samples might employ viral enrichment and greater sequencing depth to enhance the retrieval of viral reads. Our results suggest prioritization of a subset of intestinal T-cell tumors, large granular lymphocyte lymphoma, for study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v10090464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165513PMC
August 2018

A Novel Hepadnavirus Identified in an Immunocompromised Domestic Cat in Australia.

Viruses 2018 05 17;10(5). Epub 2018 May 17.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

High-throughput transcriptome sequencing allows for the unbiased detection of viruses in host tissues. The application of this technique to immunosuppressed animals facilitates the detection of viruses that might otherwise be excluded or contained in immunocompetent individuals. To identify potential viral pathogens infecting domestic cats we performed high-throughput transcriptome sequencing of tissues from cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). A novel member of the , tentatively named domestic cat hepadnavirus, was discovered in a lymphoma sample and its complete 3187 bp genome characterized. Phylogenetic analysis placed the domestic cat hepadnavirus as a divergent member of mammalian orthohepadnaviruses that exhibits no close relationship to any other virus. DNA extracted from whole blood from pet cats was positive for the novel hepadnavirus by PCR in 6 of 60 (10%) FIV-infected cats and 2 of 63 (3.2%) FIV-uninfected cats. The higher prevalence of hepadnavirus viraemia detected in FIV-infected cats mirrors that seen in human immunodeficiency virus-infected humans coinfected with hepatitis B virus. In summary, we report the first hepadnavirus infection in a carnivore and the first in a companion animal. The natural history, epidemiology and pathogenic potential of domestic cat hepadnavirus merits additional investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v10050269DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5977262PMC
May 2018

Molecular Diagnosis of Felis catus Gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1) Infection in Cats of Known Retrovirus Status with and without Lymphoma.

Viruses 2018 03 14;10(3). Epub 2018 Mar 14.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

The pathogenicity of gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1), a common infection of domestic cats, is unknown. To explore an association between FcaGHV1 detection and feline lymphoma, a retrospective, cross-sectional, disease-association study was conducted. The infection status of all cats for feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukaemia virus was determined. Neither a molecular diagnosis of FcaGHV1 nor whole-blood FcaGHV1 load was related to outcome in 122 lymphoma cases compared with 71 controls matched for age and sex. Molecular analysis of lymphoma-derived DNA paired with autologous uninvolved tissue did not suggest restriction of FcaGHV1 DNA to tumour tissue. FcaGHV1 DNA detection was associated with significantly shorter survival in lymphoma cases, an observation that could not be adequately explained by treatment differences. In addition, regressive feline leukaemia virus infection was identified as a risk factor for lymphoma. A history of fighting or roaming was identified as a novel epidemiological risk factor for FcaGHV1 detection, lending support to intercat aggression as a potential route of transmission. Studies investigating the cellular location and expression of FcaGHV1 are indicated to assist in ruling out a lymphomagenic role for this virus. Prospective investigation of FcaGHV1 DNA detection as a prognostic marker in feline lymphoma is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v10030128DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5869521PMC
March 2018

Felis Catus Gammaherpesvirus 1 DNAemia in Whole Blood from Therapeutically Immunosuppressed or Retrovirus-Infected Cats.

Vet Sci 2017 Mar 14;4(1). Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Faculty of Science, Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Gammaherpesviruses are major co-pathogens of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, making the interactions between feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1) pertinent to both human and veterinary medical research. FIV-infected cats are at increased risk of FcaGHV1 DNAemia and consistently harbor higher FcaGHV1 loads than FIV-uninfected cats. Whether immune deficiencies unrelated to FIV are associated with similar risks is unknown. Using whole blood FcaGHV1 qPCR, we found no difference in the frequency of DNAemia or DNA load in therapeutically immunosuppressed (P1, = 18) or feline leukemia virus (FeLV)-infected (P2, = 57) patients compared with age- and sex-matched controls (C1, = 58; C2, = 57). In contrast, FIV/FeLV-co-infected cats (P3, = 5) were at increased risk of FcaGHV1 DNAemia compared to retrovirus uninfected controls (C3, = 39; = 0.0068), and had a higher median FcaGHV1 DNA load, although the latter was not significant. FIV/FeLV-co-infected cats (P3) had a similar frequency of FcaGHV1 DNAemia reported compared to FIV-infected controls (C4). In conclusion, we found no evidence that cats with therapeutic immunosuppression or FeLV infection were at greater risk of FcaGHV1 DNAemia or had higher FcaGHV1 DNA load in whole blood. The risk of DNAemia in FIV/FeLV-co-infected cats was similar to that documented previously in cats infected with FIV alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vetsci4010016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5606616PMC
March 2017

Discovery of Aspergillus frankstonensis sp. nov. during environmental sampling for animal and human fungal pathogens.

PLoS One 2017 9;12(8):e0181660. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia.

Invasive fungal infections (IFI) due to species in Aspergillus section Fumigati (ASF), including the Aspergillus viridinutans species complex (AVSC), are increasingly reported in humans and cats. The risk of exposure to these medically important fungi in Australia is unknown. Air and soil was sampled from the domiciles of pet cats diagnosed with these IFI and from a nature reserve in Frankston, Victoria, where Aspergillus viridinutans sensu stricto was discovered in 1954. Of 104 ASF species isolated, 61% were A. fumigatus sensu stricto, 9% were AVSC (A. felis-clade and A. frankstonensis sp. nov.) and 30% were other species (30%). Seven pathogenic ASF species known to cause disease in humans and animals (A. felis-clade, A. fischeri, A. thermomutatus, A. lentulus, A. laciniosus A. fumisynnematus, A. hiratsukae) comprised 25% of isolates overall. AVSC species were only isolated from Frankston soil where they were abundant, suggesting a particular ecological niche. Phylogenetic, morphological and metabolomic analyses of these isolates identified a new species, A. frankstonensis that is phylogenetically distinct from other AVSC species, heterothallic and produces a unique array of extrolites, including the UV spectrum characterized compounds DOLD, RAIMO and CALBO. Shared morphological and physiological characteristics with other AVSC species include slow sporulation, optimal growth at 37°C, no growth at 50°C, and viriditoxin production. Overall, the risk of environmental exposure to pathogenic species in ASF in Australia appears to be high, but there was no evidence of direct environmental exposure to AVSC species in areas where humans and cats cohabitate.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0181660PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549889PMC
October 2017

Feline Cholangitis.

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2017 May 6;47(3):703-724. Epub 2017 Jan 6.

Faculty of Veterinary Science, Valentine Charlton Cat Centre, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney, 65 Parramatta Road, Sydney, New South Wales 2006, Australia.

Cholangitis is common in felines, including neutrophilic, lymphocytic, and chronic cholangitis (liver fluke). History, physical examination, laboratory testing, and abdominal ultrasound support a diagnosis. Diagnosis using hepatic histopathology and/or bile analysis is ideal but not always practical. Neutrophilic cholangitis is associated with bacterial cholecystitis, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease. The typical presentation is a short illness with lethargy, inappetence, pyrexia, and jaundice. Lymphocytic cholangitis, suspected to be immune-mediated, can have a prolonged clinical course with weight loss and ascites as the predominant features. The prevalence of liver fluke infestation in cats varies worldwide and clinical manifestations are uncommonly reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2016.11.015DOI Listing
May 2017
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