Publications by authors named "Katrin Hartmann"

219 Publications

SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Dogs and Cats from Southern Germany and Northern Italy during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Viruses 2021 07 26;13(8). Epub 2021 Jul 26.

Clinical Laboratory, Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services, and Center for Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has affected millions of people globally since its first detection in late 2019. Besides humans, cats and, to some extent, dogs were shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, highlighting the need for surveillance in a One Health context. Seven veterinary clinics from regions with high incidences of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were recruited during the early pandemic (March to July 2020) for the screening of patients. A total of 2257 oropharyngeal and nasal swab specimen from 877 dogs and 260 cats (including 18 animals from COVID-19-affected households and 92 animals with signs of respiratory disease) were analyzed for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA using reverse transcriptase real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) targeting the viral envelope (E) and RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) genes. One oropharyngeal swab from an Italian cat, living in a COVID-19-affected household in Piedmont, tested positive in RT-qPCR (1/260; 0.38%, 95% CI: 0.01-2.1%), and SARS-CoV-2 infection of the animal was serologically confirmed six months later. One oropharyngeal swab from a dog was potentially positive (1/877; 0.1%, 95% CI: 0.002-0.63%), but the result was not confirmed in a reference laboratory. Analyses of convenience sera from 118 animals identified one dog (1/94; 1.1%; 95% CI: 0.02-5.7%) from Lombardy, but no cats (0/24), as positive for anti-SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies and neutralizing activity. These findings support the hypothesis that the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in pet cat and dog populations, and hence, the risk of zoonotic transmission to veterinary staff, was low during the first wave of the pandemic, even in hotspot areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13081453DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8402904PMC
July 2021

Influenza Virus Infections in Cats.

Viruses 2021 Jul 23;13(8). Epub 2021 Jul 23.

MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, Glasgow G61 1QH, UK.

In the past, cats were considered resistant to influenza. Today, we know that they are susceptible to some influenza A viruses (IAVs) originating in other species. Usually, the outcome is only subclinical infection or a mild fever. However, outbreaks of feline disease caused by canine H3N2 IAV with fever, tachypnoea, sneezing, coughing, dyspnoea and lethargy are occasionally noted in shelters. In one such outbreak, the morbidity rate was 100% and the mortality rate was 40%. Recently, avian H7N2 IAV infection occurred in cats in some shelters in the USA, inducing mostly mild respiratory disease. Furthermore, cats are susceptible to experimental infection with the human H3N2 IAV that caused the pandemic in 1968. Several studies indicated that cats worldwide could be infected by H1N1 IAV during the subsequent human pandemic in 2009. In one shelter, severe cases with fatalities were noted. Finally, the highly pathogenic avian H5N1 IAV can induce a severe, fatal disease in cats, and can spread via cat-to-cat contact. In this review, the Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of experts in feline medicine from 11 European countries, summarises current data regarding the aetiology, epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical picture, diagnostics, and control of feline IAV infections, as well as the zoonotic risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13081435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8402716PMC
July 2021

[Prevention of canine parvovirosis - Part 3: Vaccine-associated adverse events].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2021 Aug 23;49(4):294-299. Epub 2021 Aug 23.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Although nowadays vaccines, especially those against canine parvovirus (CPV), are considered to be safe, vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs) can occur in rare cases. Some VAAEs are mild and manifest shortly (within a few days) after vaccination (e. g. gastrointestinal signs, fever, reduced general condition, lymphadenopathy). These signs are likely a result of vaccine virus replication and indicate a good immune response. Anaphylactic reactions can also occur promptly following vaccine administration and might be life threatening. Affected dogs show clinical signs such as edema, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, hypotension, and/or shock. Since it is often unclear which component of the vaccine carries responsibility for the anaphylactic reaction it is important to limit future vaccinations of these dogs to indispensable components only. When revaccination is unavoidable, e. g. because antibodies against CPV cannot be detected, combined vaccines should not be used and CPV (and other components, if needed) should preferably be vaccinated separately. Changing the vaccine manufacturer might also prevent further anaphylactic reactions. Finally, there are VAAEs occurring after a prolonged period of time. In dogs, it is discussed that autoimmune diseases, such as immune-mediated hemolytic anemia (IMHA), can be a consequence of excessive vaccination or in the least be triggered by vaccination. Numerous dogs with IMHA are reported to have a history of receiving a vaccination within a few weeks before the onset of clinical sings. In such dogs, further vaccinations should generally be avoided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1543-4632DOI Listing
August 2021

Wellbeing, quality of life, presence of concurrent diseases, and survival times in untreated and treated German Shepherd dogs with dwarfism.

PLoS One 2021 9;16(8):e0255678. Epub 2021 Aug 9.

Center of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, Germany.

Background: Pituitary dwarfism (PD) in German Shepherd dogs (GSD) is a rare endocrinopathy. Cause and inheritance of the disease are well characterized, but the overall survival time, presence of concurrent diseases, quality of life (QoL) and influence of different treatment options on those parameters is still not well investigated. The aim of this study was to obtain data regarding the disease pattern of GSD with PD and to investigate the impact of treatment.

Methods: 47 dogs with dwarfism (presumably PD) and 94 unaffected GSD serving as controls were enrolled. Data were collected via a standardized questionnaire, which every owner of a participating dog had completed. Dogs with PD were grouped based on three categories of treatment: Group 1 (untreated), group 2 (treated with levothyroxine), group 3 (treated with thyroxine and progestogens or with growth hormone (GH)). Groups were compared using One-Way-Anova, Kruskal-Wallis test or Wilcoxon-rank-sum test. Categorical analysis was performed using Two-Sample-Chi-Squared-test.

Results: Dogs treated with thyroxine and gestagen or GH were significantly taller and heavier compared to all other dogs with PD. Quality of life was best in dogs with PD treated with thyroxine and similar to unaffected GSD. Treatment increased survival time in dogs with PD independent of the treatment strategy. Dogs receiving thyroxine and progestogens or GH did not develop chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Conclusion: GSD with PD should be treated at least for their secondary hypothyroidism to increase survival time. Additional treatment with progestogens or GH improves body size and seems to protect against the occurrence of CKD.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0255678PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8351940PMC
August 2021

Ultrasonographic assessment of the caudal vena cava diameter in cats during blood donation.

J Feline Med Surg 2021 Jul 27:1098612X211028838. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.

Objectives: Ultrasonography of the caudal vena cava (CVC) has been previously established to assess fluid status in dogs but not in cats. The aim of this study was to determine CVC diameter changes during feline blood donation.

Methods: Inter- and intra-observer variability were assessed in 11 client-owned cats. Minimal and maximal CVC diameters were assessed longitudinally in the subxiphoid view (SV) and right paralumbar view (PV), and transversely in the right hepatic intercostal view (HV). Eighteen client-owned, healthy, anaesthetised cats were evaluated during 21 blood donation procedures of 10 ml/kg in the same anatomical locations before (T0) and after (T1) blood donation, and after volume resuscitation with 30 ml/kg lactated Ringer's solution (T2). The CVC index was calculated.

Results: Intra-observer variability was acceptable for all probe positions, except for the HV, whereas inter-observer variability was considered unacceptable for all probe positions. Complete measurements were obtained during 21 blood donations at T0, T1 and T2 at the SV, during 18/21 blood donations at the HV and during 16/21 blood donations at the PV. At the SV, the minimal CVC diameter between T1 and T2 ( <0.001), and the maximal CVC diameter between T0 and T1 and between T1 and T2 ( <0.001) were significantly different. At the HV, the minimal vertical diameter, maximal vertical diameter and minimal horizontal diameter were different between all timepoints ( <0.001). The maximal horizontal diameter was different between T1 and T2 ( = 0.002). At the PV, both diameters were different between all timepoints ( <0.001). The CVC index was not different between timepoints.

Conclusion And Relevance: Significant probe position dependent CVC diameter changes with marked overlap were observed before and after blood donation, and after fluid bolus. No absolute CVC diameter could be used to indicate hypovolaemia. Ultrasonographic assessment of the feline CVC is highly operator-dependent. The CVC index is not useful in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X211028838DOI Listing
July 2021

One Health: EAACI Position Paper on coronaviruses at the human-animal interface, with a specific focus on comparative and zoonotic aspects of SARS-Cov-2.

Allergy 2021 Jun 28. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Comparative Medicine, Interuniversity Messerli Research Institute, University of Veterinary Medicine and Medical University Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

The latest outbreak of a coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), evolved into a worldwide pandemic with massive effects on health, quality of life, and economy. Given the short period of time since the outbreak, there are several knowledge gaps on the comparative and zoonotic aspects of this new virus. Within the One Health concept, the current EAACI position paper dwells into the current knowledge on SARS-CoV-2's receptors, symptoms, transmission routes for human and animals living in close vicinity to each other, usefulness of animal models to study this disease and management options to avoid intra- and interspecies transmission. Similar pandemics might appear unexpectedly and more frequently in the near future due to climate change, consumption of exotic foods and drinks, globe-trotter travel possibilities, the growing world population, the decreasing production space, declining room for wildlife and free-ranging animals, and the changed lifestyle including living very close to animals. Therefore, both the society and the health authorities need to be aware and well prepared for similar future situations, and research needs to focus on prevention and fast development of treatment options (medications, vaccines).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14991DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8441637PMC
June 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

Prevalence of Neutralizing Antibodies to Canine Distemper Virus and Response to Vaccination in Client-Owned Adult Healthy Dogs.

Viruses 2021 05 20;13(5). Epub 2021 May 20.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Re-vaccinations against canine distemper virus (CDV) are commonly performed in 3-year intervals. The study's aims were to determine anti-CDV antibodies in healthy adult dogs within 28 days of vaccination against CDV, and to evaluate factors associated with the presence of pre-vaccination antibodies and with the antibody response to vaccination. Ninety-seven dogs, not vaccinated within 1 year before enrollment, were vaccinated with a modified live CDV vaccine. A measurement of the antibodies was performed before vaccination (day 0), on day 7, and 28 after the vaccination by virus neutralization. A response to vaccination was defined as a ≥4-fold titer increase by day 28. Fisher's exact test was used to determine factors associated with a lack of antibodies and vaccination response. In total, 94.8% of the dogs (92/97; CI 95%: 88.2-98.1) had antibodies (≥10) prior to vaccination. A response to vaccination was not observed in any dog. Five dogs were considered humoral non-responders; these dogs neither had detectable antibodies before, nor developed antibodies after vaccination. Young age (<2 years) was significantly associated with a lack of pre-vaccination antibodies ( = 0.018; OR: 26.825; 95% CI: 1.216-1763.417). In conclusion, necessity of re-vaccination in adult healthy dogs should be debated and regular vaccinations should be replaced by antibody detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13050945DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8160937PMC
May 2021

Comparison of Transmittance and Reflectance Pulse Oximetry in Anesthetized Dogs.

Front Vet Sci 2021 30;8:643966. Epub 2021 Apr 30.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University (LMU) Munich, Munich, Germany.

The tongue is the standard site for placement of a pulse oximeter probe but is difficult to access during certain procedures such as dental and ophthalmic procedures and computerized tomography of the head. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of a new-generation reflectance pulse oximeter using the tail and tibia as sites for probe attachment. A total of 100 client-owned dogs that underwent anesthesia for various reasons were premedicated with butorphanol ( = 50; 0.2 mg/kg; group BUT) or butorphanol and dexmedetomidine ( = 50; 5 μg/kg; group DEX), administered intravenously. Anesthesia was induced with propofol and maintained with sevoflurane. A transmittance pulse oximeter probe was placed on the tongue and served as the reference standard. A reflectance probe was randomly placed on the tail base or the proximal tibia, and the position changed after testing. Signals from three consecutive measurements were obtained at each position. Failure was defined as "no signal," "low signal," or a pulse difference >10/min compared with the ECG heart rate. Data were analyzed using chi-square test, Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank test, and Bland-Altman analysis. < 0.05 was considered significant. In both groups (BUT and DEX), failure rate was higher when the tibia and tail were used as probe sites compared with the tongue. In both groups, the failure rate was higher for the tibia than for the tail. Dexmedetomidine-induced vasoconstriction increased failure rate at all probe positions. The tail base, but not the tibia, is an acceptable position for reflectance pulse oximeter probes in dogs. The tongue remains the probe site of choice, if accessible.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.643966DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8119740PMC
April 2021

[Prophylaxis of canine parvovirosis - Part 2: Vaccines].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2021 Apr 26;49(2):122-125. Epub 2021 Apr 26.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Vaccination is still the most effective measure to prevent canine parvovirosis. Therefore, vaccines against canine parvovirus (CPV) infection are considered core vaccines. Modified life vaccines (MLV) have been proven to be very effective and safe, since they are characterized by early onset (within a few days after vaccination) and long duration of immunity (several years). MLV do not contain adjuvants; they are also advantageous in terms of possessing less allergenic and toxic properties. Therefore, MLV are widely used as first line vaccines. In Germany and in most other European countries, only MLV are available on the market. MLV contain CPV-2 or (less often) CPV-2b and offer cross-protection against the variants CPV-2a, -2b, -2c that are relevant for dogs in the field. Revaccination with MLV should be performed in 3-year-intervals or longer intervals (only in case of lacking antibodies) even if the licensed MLV is registered for re-vaccination intervals of 1 or 2 years. MLV should only be administered to healthy dogs older than 4 to 6 weeks of age. A possible disadvantage of MLV is its interference with the diagnosis of a CPV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1402-9476DOI Listing
April 2021

[Cystoscopic-guided laser ablation for treatment of ectopic ureteroceles in 2 female dogs].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2021 Aug 22;49(4):310-316. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Zentrum für klinische Tiermedizin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Two female intact Labrador Retriever dogs (6 and 3 months of age, respectively) presented with a history of urinary incontinence. In both dogs, abdominal ultrasound revealed evidence of a unilateral ectopic ureterocele. Diagnosis of ureteral ectopia was established urethrocystoscopically by visualization of the ureteral orifice in the urethra, and an intramural course was confirmed via retrograde contrast fluoroscopy. Ectopic ureteral orifices were stenotic in both dogs. Cystoscopic- and fluoroscopic-guided laser ablation of the ectopic ureter were performed with a Hol:YAG laser. Following the procedure, both dogs were fully continent without any medical treatment. Cystoscopic- guided laser ablation of ureteroceles was effective and safe in these 2 dogs. Thus, this minimally invasive technique for the treatment of ectopic ureteroceles provides an alternative to surgical intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1428-7266DOI Listing
August 2021

Interferon therapies in small animals.

Vet J 2021 May 24;271:105648. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Center for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstr. 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Interferons (IFNs) are cytokines that play an important role in the immune response of animals and humans. A number of studies reviewed here have evaluated the use of human, canine and feline IFNs as treatments for infectious, inflammatory and neoplastic disease in dogs and cats. Recombinant canine IFN-γ is deemed an efficacious therapy for canine atopic dermatitis. Recombinant feline IFN-ω is effective against canine parvoviral enteritis and has also been recommended for canine atopic dermatitis. Based on limited evidence, recombinant canine IFN-α could be a topical treatment option for dogs with gingivitis and keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Conclusive evidence is lacking for other diseases and large randomised controlled trials are needed before IFNs can be recommended for other indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2021.105648DOI Listing
May 2021

Antibody Response to Canine Parvovirus Vaccination in Dogs with Hypothyroidism Treated with Levothyroxine.

Vaccines (Basel) 2021 Feb 20;9(2). Epub 2021 Feb 20.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

(1) Background: No information is available on how dogs with hypothyroidism (HypoT) respond to vaccination. This study measured pre- and post-vaccination anti-canine parvovirus (CPV) antibodies in dogs with HypoT treated with levothyroxine and compared the results to those of healthy dogs. (2) Methods: Six dogs with HypoT and healthy age-matched control dogs (n = 23) were vaccinated against CPV with a modified-live vaccine. Hemagglutination inhibition was used to measure antibodies on days 0, 7, and 28. The comparison of the vaccination response of dogs with HypoT and healthy dogs were performed with univariate analysis. (3) Results: Pre-vaccination antibodies (≥10) were detected in 100% of dogs with HypoT (6/6; 95% CI: 55.7-100) and in 100% of healthy dogs (23/23; 95% CI: 83.1-100.0). A ≥4-fold titer increase was observed in none of the dogs with HypoT and in 4.3% of the healthy dogs (1/23; CI: <0.01-22.7). Mild vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs) were detected in 33.3% of the dogs with HypoT (2/6; 95% CI: 9.3-70.4) and in 43.5% (10/23; 95% CI: 25.6-63.2) of the healthy dogs. (4) Conclusions: There was neither a significant difference in the dogs' pre-vaccination antibodies ( = 1.000), or vaccination response ( = 0.735), nor in the occurrence of post-vaccination VAAEs ( = 0.798). The vaccination response in dogs with levothyroxine-treated HypoT seems to be similar to that of healthy dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9020180DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7924029PMC
February 2021

[Prevention of canine parvovirosis - Part 1: Humoral and cellular immunity].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2021 Feb 15;49(1):44-50. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Canine parvovirosis remains a common and highly infectious disease. Thus, adequate protection is essential for all dogs at any time. In this, humoral immunity plays an essential role. The presence of antibodies in adult dogs suggests immunity against the disease, and nearly all adult dogs possess antibodies (either due to previous vaccination or infection). Meanwhile, worldwide vaccination guidelines recommend measurement of pre-vaccination antibodies instead of regular triennial re-vaccinations in adult dogs. Studies have demonstrated a long lasting duration of immunity against canine parvovirus. Re-vaccination therefore possesses no beneficial effect when dogs already have pre-vaccination antibodies. Thus, when antibodies are present, unnecessary re-vaccinations that potentially cause vaccine-associated adverse events should be avoided. Hemagglutination inhibition and virus neutralization can be performed in specialized laboratories for quantitative antibody titer measurement. Semiquantitative point-of-care (POC) tests for detection of CPV antibodies are available. Since the presence of CPV antibodies in adult dogs that have been vaccinated or previously infected suggests adequate immunity against disease, these POC tests can be a useful tool in practice. They identify dogs that might potentially be unprotected and require re-vaccination during preventive health care appointments. Concerning the POC tests' quality assessment, a high specificity (low number of false positive test results) is considered the most important feature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1319-4564DOI Listing
February 2021

Anthropogenic Infection of Cats during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.

Viruses 2021 01 26;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Institute of Virology, Department for Pathobiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria.

COVID-19 is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) caused by a new coronavirus (CoV), SARS-CoV-2, which is closely related to SARS-CoV that jumped the animal-human species barrier and caused a disease outbreak in 2003. SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus that was first described in 2019, unrelated to the commonly occurring feline coronavirus (FCoV) that is an alphacoronavirus associated with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). SARS-CoV-2 is highly contagious and has spread globally within a few months, resulting in the current pandemic. Felids have been shown to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Particularly in the Western world, many people live in very close contact with their pet cats, and natural infections of cats in COVID-19-positive households have been described in several countries. In this review, the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of experts in feline medicine from 11 European Countries, discusses the current status of SARS-CoV infections in cats. The review examines the host range of SARS-CoV-2 and human-to-animal transmissions, including infections in domestic and non-domestic felids, as well as mink-to-human/-cat transmission. It summarises current data on SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in domestic cats and the results of experimental infections of cats and provides expert opinions on the clinical relevance and prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13020185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911697PMC
January 2021

Evaluation of a Point-of-Care Test for Pre-Vaccination Testing to Detect Antibodies against Canine Adenoviruses in Dogs.

Viruses 2021 01 26;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 26.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

(1) Background: Antibody testing is commonly used to assess a dog's immune status. For detection of antibodies against canine adenoviruses (CAVs), one point-of-care (POC) test is available. This study assessed the POC test´s performance. (2) Methods: Sera of 198 privately owned dogs and 40 specific pathogen-free (SPF) dogs were included. The reference standard for detection of anti-CAV antibodies was virus neutralization (VN) using CAV-1 and CAV-2 antigens. Specificity, sensitivity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), and overall accuracy (OA) of the POC test were assessed. Specificity was considered most important. (3) Results: Prevalence of CAV-1 neutralizing antibodies (≥10) was 76% (182/238) in all dogs, 92% (182/198) in the subgroup of privately owned dogs, and 0% (0/40) in SPF dogs. Prevalence of CAV-2 neutralizing antibodies (≥10) was 76% (181/238) in all dogs, 91% (181/198) in privately owned dogs, and 0% (0/40) in SPF dogs. Specificity for detection of CAV-1 antibodies was lower (overall dogs, 88%; privately owned dogs, 56%; SPF dogs, 100%) compared with specificity for detection of CAV-2 antibodies (overall dogs, 90%; privately owned dogs, 65%; SPF dogs, 100%). (4) Conclusions: Since false positive results will lead to potentially unprotected dogs not being vaccinated, specificity should be improved to reliably detect anti-CAV antibodies that prevent infectious canine hepatitis in dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13020183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911502PMC
January 2021

Diagnostic Value of Detecting Feline Coronavirus RNA and Spike Gene Mutations in Cerebrospinal Fluid to Confirm Feline Infectious Peritonitis.

Viruses 2021 01 27;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 27.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Center for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinärstr. 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Background: Cats with neurologic feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) are difficult to diagnose. Aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of detecting feline coronavirus (FCoV) RNA and spike (S) gene mutations in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Methods: The study included 30 cats with confirmed FIP (six with neurological signs) and 29 control cats (eleven with neurological signs) with other diseases resulting in similar clinical signs. CSF was tested for FCoV RNA by 7b-RT-qPCR in all cats. In RT-qPCR-positive cases, S-RT-qPCR was additionally performed to identify spike gene mutations.

Results: Nine cats with FIP (9/30, 30%), but none of the control cats were positive for FCoV RNA in CSF. Sensitivity of 7b-RT-qPCR in CSF was higher for cats with neurological FIP (83.3%; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 41.8-98.9) than for cats with non-neurological FIP (16.7%; 95% CI 6.1-36.5). Spike gene mutations were rarely detected.

Conclusions: FCoV RNA was frequently present in CSF of cats with neurological FIP, but only rarely in cats with non-neurological FIP. Screening for spike gene mutations did not enhance specificity in this patient group. Larger populations of cats with neurological FIP should be explored in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13020186DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7912268PMC
January 2021

Comparison of Four Commercially Available Point-of-Care Tests to Detect Antibodies against Canine Parvovirus in Dogs.

Viruses 2020 12 23;13(1). Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Measuring antibodies to evaluate dogs' immunity against canine parvovirus (CPV) is useful to avoid unnecessary re-vaccinations. The study aimed to evaluate the quality and practicability of four point-of-care (POC) tests for detection of anti-CPV antibodies. The sera of 198 client-owned and 43 specific pathogen-free (SPF) dogs were included; virus neutralization was the reference method. Specificity, sensitivity, positive and negative predictive value (PPV and NPV), and overall accuracy (OA) were calculated. Specificity was considered to be the most important indicator for POC test performance. Differences between specificity and sensitivity of POC tests in the sera of all dogs were determined by McNemar, agreement by Cohen's kappa. Prevalence of anti-CPV antibodies in all dogs was 80% (192/241); in the subgroup of client-owned dogs, it was 97% (192/198); and in the subgroup of SPF dogs, it was 0% (0/43). FASTest and CanTiCheck were easiest to perform. Specificity was highest in the CanTiCheck (overall dogs, 98%; client-owned dogs, 83%; SPF dogs, 100%) and the TiterCHEK (overall dogs, 96%; client-owned dogs, 67%; SPF dogs, 100%); no significant differences in specificity were observed between the ImmunoComb, the TiterCHEK, and the CanTiCheck. Sensitivity was highest in the FASTest (overall dogs, 95%; client-owned dogs, 95%) and the CanTiCheck (overall dogs, 80%; client-owned dogs, 80%); sensitivity of the FASTest was significantly higher compared to the one of the other three tests (McNemars -value in each comparison: <0.001). CanTiCheck would be the POC test of choice when considering specificity and practicability. However, differences in the number of false positive results between CanTiCheck, TiterCHEK, and ImmunoComb were minimal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v13010018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7823389PMC
December 2020

Diagnostic value of fecal cultures in dogs with chronic diarrhea.

J Vet Intern Med 2021 Jan 4;35(1):199-208. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Clinic of Small Animal Internal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU, Munich, Germany.

Background: Culture-based assessment of the fecal microbiome using fecal culture profiles frequently is performed in dogs with chronic diarrhea, but the diagnostic value of this approach has not been determined.

Objectives: To compare the reported results of fecal culture profiles and the polymerase chain reaction-based dysbiosis index (DI) between dogs with chronic diarrhea and healthy dogs; to assess interlaboratory variability in bacterial and fungal cultures among 3 veterinary diagnostic laboratories (diagnostic laboratory 1 [L1], diagnostic laboratory 2 [L2], diagnostic laboratory 3 [L3]); and to compare the reported interpretation of culture profiles (normobiosis versus dysbiosis) with those of the DI.

Animals: Eighteen dogs with chronic diarrhea (CDG) and 18 healthy control dogs (HG).

Methods: In this prospective, case-control study, fecal samples were submitted to 3 commercial laboratories for fecal culture. The microbiota was assessed using PCR assays. Dogs receiving antimicrobials were excluded.

Results: Dysbiosis index was significantly increased in CDG (mean, 0.9; SD, 3.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], -1.0; 2.8) compared to HG (mean, -3.0; SD, 2.8; CI, -4.3; -1.6; P = .0002), whereas cultures from all laboratories failed to detect significant differences (P = .66, .18, and .66, respectively). Hemolytic Escherichia coli was the only potential enteropathogen on culture, but no significant difference was found between CDG and HG. For diagnosis of dysbiosis, culture showed no agreement with DI (L1, κ = -0.21; CI, -0.44; -0.02; L2, κ = -0.33; CI, -0.58; -0.08; L3, κ = -0.25; CI, -0.39; -0.11). Furthermore, variability among the 3 laboratories was high (L1/L2, κ = 0.15; CI, -0.05; 0.35; L1/L3, κ = -0.08; CI, -0.01; -0.16; L2/L3, κ = -0.06; CI, -0.33; -0.20).

Conclusions And Clinical Importance: Fecal cultures failed to distinguish between diseased and healthy dogs, and a high level of interlaboratory variation for culture was found.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jvim.15982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7848338PMC
January 2021

infection in cats: European guidelines from the ABCD on prevention and management.

J Feline Med Surg 2020 11;22(11):1084-1088

European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases www.abcdcatsvets.org.

Overview: is a common obligate intracellular microsporidian parasite of rabbits that is increasingly recognised as a pathogen of cats and other mammalian species. These guidelines aim to review the literature on feline infection and provide recommendations on prevention and management.

Infection In Cats: infection should be considered as a differential diagnosis in cases of feline uveitis and cataract formation. It is not significantly associated with either chronic kidney disease or meningoencephalitis. E infection is more common in stray or feral cats than in pet cats.

Diagnosis And Treatment: Serological tests for antibody detection in the blood are easy to perform and can be useful for diagnosis, but their specificity is low as antibodies have been found in apparently healthy cats. PCR appears to be more sensitive than histopathology for diagnosis, and is more sensitive when performed on cataractous lenses compared with aqueous humour, although ease of sampling is an obvious limitation. Treatment is with fenbendazole for 3 weeks and phacoemulsification to remove microsporidia from cataractous lenses.

Zoonotic Risk: E is a potential zoonotic agent, and there is a particular risk to immunocompromised humans posed by infected rabbits. Albeit infrequent, spore shedding has been identified in cats, so care should be taken around infected cats.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X20941787DOI Listing
November 2020

Antibody Response to Canine Adenovirus-2 Virus Vaccination in Healthy Adult Dogs.

Viruses 2020 10 21;12(10). Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Background: Re-vaccination against canine adenovirus (CAV) is performed in ≤3-year-intervals but their necessity is unknown. The study determined anti-CAV antibodies within 28 days of re-vaccination and factors associated with the absence of antibodies and vaccination response.

Methods: Ninety-seven healthy adult dogs (last vaccination ≥12 months) were re-vaccinated with a modified live CAV-2 vaccine. Anti-CAV antibodies were measured before vaccination (day 0), and after re-vaccination (day 7, 28) by virus neutralization. A ≥4-fold titer increase was defined as vaccination response. Fisher's exact test and multivariate regression analysis were performed to determine factors associated with the absence of antibodies and vaccination response.

Results: Totally, 87% of dogs (90/97; 95% CI: 85.61-96.70) had anti-CAV antibodies (≥10) before re-vaccination. Vaccination response was observed in 6% of dogs (6/97; 95% CI: 2.60-13.11). Time since last vaccination (>3-5 years, = 9.375, = 0.020; >5 years, 25.000, = 0.006) was associated with a lack of antibodies. Dogs from urban areas were more likely to respond to vaccination ( = 0.037).

Conclusion: Many dogs had anti-CAV pre-vaccination antibodies, even those with an incomplete vaccination series. Most dogs did not respond to re-vaccination. Based on this study, dogs should be re-vaccinated every 3 years or antibodies should be determined.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12101198DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7589706PMC
October 2020

Cats shedding pathogenic Leptospira spp.-An underestimated zoonotic risk?

PLoS One 2020 22;15(10):e0239991. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Munich, Germany.

Shedding of DNA of pathogenic Leptospira spp. has been documented in naturally infected cats in several countries, but urinary shedding of infectious Leptospira spp. has only recently been proven. The climate in Southern Chile is temperate rainy with high annual precipitations which represents ideal preconditions for survival of Leptospira spp., especially during spring and summer. The aims of this study were to investigate shedding of pathogenic Leptospira spp. in outdoor cats in Southern Chile, to perform molecular characterization of isolates growing in culture, and to assess potential risk factors associated with shedding. Urine samples of 231 outdoor cats from rural and urban areas in southern Chile were collected. Urine samples were investigated for pathogenic Leptospira spp. by 4 techniques: qPCR targeting the lipL32 gene, immunomagnetic separation (IMS)-coupled qPCR (IMS-qPCR), direct culture and IMS-coupled culture. Positive urine cultures were additionally confirmed by PCR. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) was used to molecularly characterize isolates obtained from positive cultures. Overall, 36 urine samples (15.6%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 11.4-20.9) showed positive results. Eighteen (7.8%, 95% CI 4.9-12.1), 30 (13%, 95% CI 9.2-18), 3 (1.3%, 0.3-3.9) and 4 cats (1.7%; 95% CI 0.5-4.5) were positive in qPCR, IMS-qPCR, conventional culture, and IMS-coupled culture, respectively. MLST results of 7 culture-positive cats revealed sequences that could be assigned to sequence type 17 (6 cats) and sequence type 27 (1 cat) corresponding to L. interrogans (Pathogenic Leptospira Subgroup 1). Shedding of pathogenic Leptospira spp. by cats might be an underestimated source of infection for other species including humans. The present study is the first one reporting growth of leptospires from feline urine in culture in naturally infected cats in South-America and characterisation of culture-derived isolates. So far, very few cases of successful attempts to culture leptospires from naturally infected cats are described worldwide.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239991PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580889PMC
December 2020

[Disseminated protothecosis with ulcerative granulomatous colitis in a Rhodesian Ridgeback from Germany].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2020 Oct 21;48(5):369-375. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Zentrum für Klinische Tiermedizin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

A 10-month-old male Rhodesian Ridgeback was presented to the Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU, Germany, with a 6-month history of chronic diarrhea and hematochezia. The dog lived in Germany and had never traveled abroad. Complete blood count and serum biochemistry performed by the referring veterinarian revealed neutrophilia, hyperkalemia, and hyponatremia, with a basal cortisol of 4.3 µg/dl, which excluded hypoadrenocorticism. Since antibiotic treatment had not resulted in any improvement, a 2 week course of prednisolone administration had been initiated, leading to a marked deterioration of intestinal signs and a significant weight loss of 6 kg. At the time of referral, the patient was markedly emaciated, dehydrated, hypovolemic and had a rectal temperature of 39.6 °C. Abdominal ultrasound showed a thickened and irregular colonic wall. On colonoscopy, an irregular colonic mucosa with ulcerations was observed. Histopathologic examination revealed an ulcerative granulomatous colitis, and on Periodic acid-Schiff reaction (PAS) numerous organisms consistent with spp. were identified. infection was confirmed by culture and MALDI-TOF MS. In order to test for an underlying immunodeficiency, immunoglobulin levels in serum were determined. IgM was decreased, while IgG and IgA levels were within the reference interval. Due to deterioration of general condition, grave prognosis and costs of a treatment trial, the patient was euthanized one week later, and necropsy was performed. spp. were detected on histopathologic examination in the lymphnodes, however not in the eyes or the central nervous system. Protothecosis should be considered an differential diagnosis in dogs with chronic diarrhea and ulcerative granulomatous colitis even in dogs living in Germany. Histopathologic examination of colonic biopsies with special stains such as PAS is recommended in every dog with signs of chronic large bowel disease in order to avoid missing this rare infectious disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1238-1554DOI Listing
October 2020

[Compliance of dog and cat owners in preventive health care].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2020 Oct 21;48(5):349-360. Epub 2020 Oct 21.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Zentrum für klinische Tiermedizin, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Regular preventive health care is an essential part of our pets' health and quality of life. Preventive healthcare appointments can result in the prevention of disease development as well as lead to the detection and subsequent treatment of existing health problems at an early stage. In order to achieve optimal health care, the owners' compliance is of most importance in addition to the veterinary advice. However, dog and cat owners often seem to be unaware of the necessity for preventive health care appointments, often as a result of poor communication by the veterinarian. Educational conversations concerning the necessity of regular preventive health examinations are therefore essential. Communication is one of the key factors in building an owner-veterinarian relationship. Veterinarians are advised to invest sufficient time for communication, be aware of their verbal and non-verbal statements, and enable the owner to participate in treatment decisions. Older animals are presented less often for preventive health care appointments than younger animals, although the prevalence of age-related and chronic diseases increases with age. Owners should therefore be informed on the fact that early detection and treatment of these diseases increases their animals' health and survival. Cats are seen less frequently in preventive health care than dogs; many owners are not aware of the characteristics of cats tending to hide signs of disease. Another reason lies in the fact that many cats are stressed by being captured and transported in addition to the visit in the veterinary practice itself. Veterinarians therefore should educate cat owners concerning stress-reducing transportation measures and design their practice in a more cat-friendly fashion. Compliance can also be influenced positively by appropriate practice management, such as offering monthly instalment payments, establishing annual preventive care plans, as well as regular re-scheduling strategies. In addition to enhancing the animals' health, this can also result in increased owner satisfaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1241-3433DOI Listing
October 2020

Antibody Response to Canine Parvovirus Vaccination in Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism Treated with Trilostane.

Vaccines (Basel) 2020 Sep 19;8(3). Epub 2020 Sep 19.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU Munich, 80539 Munich, Germany.

It is unknown how dogs with hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) respond to vaccination. This study measured antibodies against canine parvovirus (CPV) in dogs with HAC treated with trilostane before and after CPV vaccination, and compared the immune response to that from healthy dogs. Eleven dogs with HAC, and healthy age-matched control dogs ( = 31) received a modified-live CPV vaccine. Antibodies were determined on days 0, 7, and 28 by hemagglutination inhibition. Univariate analysis was used to compare the immune response of dogs with HAC and healthy dogs. Pre-vaccination antibodies (≥10) were detected in 100% of dogs with HAC (11/11; 95% CI: 70.0-100) and in 93.5% of healthy dogs (29/31; 95% CI: 78.3-99.2). No ≥4-fold increase in antibody titer was observed in dogs with HAC while in 22.6% of healthy dogs, a ≥4-fold titer increase was observed (7/31; 95% CI: 11.1-40.1). Mild vaccine-associated adverse events (VAAEs) were detected in 54.5% of dogs with HAC (6/11; 95% CI: 28.0-78.8) and in 29.0% of healthy dogs (9/31; 95% CI: 15.9-46.8). There was neither a significant difference in presence of pre-vaccination antibodies ( = 1.000), or response to vaccination ( = 0.161), nor in the occurrence of VAAEs ( = 0.158). Immune function of dogs with HAC treated with trilostane seems comparable to that of healthy dogs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/vaccines8030547DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7563131PMC
September 2020

Prevalence of Feline Coronavirus Shedding in German Catteries and Associated Risk Factors.

Viruses 2020 09 8;12(9). Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

The aim of this prospective study was to determine prevalence and potential risk factors of feline coronavirus (FCoV) shedding. Four consecutive fecal samples of 179 cats from 37 German breeding catteries were analyzed for FCoV ribonucleic acid (RNA) by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Prevalence of shedding was calculated using different numbers of fecal samples per cat (1-4) and different sampling intervals (5-28 days). Information on potential risk factors for FCoV shedding was obtained by a questionnaire. Risk factor analysis was performed using a generalized linear mixed model (GLMM). Most cats (137/179, 76.5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 69.8-82.2) shed FCoV at least at once. None of the tested 37 catteries was free of FCoV. Prevalence calculated including all four (76.5%, 95% CI 69.8-82.2) or the last three (73.7%, 95% CI 66.8-79.7) samples per cat was significantly higher than the prevalence calculated with only the last sample (61.5%, 95% CI 54.2-68.3; = 0.0029 and 0.0175, respectively). Young age was significantly associated with FCoV shedding while the other factors were not. For identification of FCoV shedders in multi-cat households, at least three fecal samples per cat should be analyzed. Young age is the most important risk factor for FCoV shedding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v12091000DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7551668PMC
September 2020

Canine vaccination in Germany: A survey of owner attitudes and compliance.

PLoS One 2020 27;15(8):e0238371. Epub 2020 Aug 27.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, Munich, Bavaria, Germany.

Background: Vaccination is the most important preventive measure for protection against infectious diseases in humans and companion animals. Nevertheless, scepticism about the safety and importance of vaccines is increasing in human and in veterinary medicine. Although owner attitudes towards vaccination have been investigated in cats, there are no similar studies in dogs. The goals of this study were therefore to investigate the vaccination status of dogs in Germany, to determine owner compliance with vaccination and to identify factors that play a role in owners' decisions to have their dogs vaccinated.

Methods: Data were collected from August 2018 to February 2019 using an online survey targeting dog owners in Germany. A total of 3,881 questionnaires were evaluated, and factors associated with the vaccination status of dogs were determined by a linear logistic regression model using Akaike information criterion. Cohen's kappa statistic was used to evaluate agreement between questionnaire and 340 vaccination passports submitted voluntarily by owners.

Results: A total of 46.8% (n = 1,818/3,881) of dogs were vaccinated with core vaccines according to current guidelines with the lowest vaccination rate for leptospirosis (50.1%; n = 1,941/3,874). Dog's age (16 weeks to 15 months) (odds ratio (OR): 3.08; 95% CI: 2.05-4.68), type (working dog) (OR: 2.06; 95% CI: 1.22-3.53) and travelling abroad within previous 36 months (OR: 1.82; 95% CI: 1.12-2.96) had the strongest 'positive' association with the vaccination status. Recommendation from a veterinarian not to vaccinate against leptospirosis had the strongest 'negative' association (OR: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.04-0.18).

Conclusion: The study revealed a need for improvement in vaccination compliance because of inadequate vaccination coverage, especially for leptospirosis, in dogs. Factors influencing owner compliance were numerous. Vaccination recommendations made by the veterinarian had a strong association with the vaccination status and should be used to increase canine vaccination rates.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0238371PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7451643PMC
October 2020

Feline leukaemia virus infection: A practical approach to diagnosis.

J Feline Med Surg 2020 09;22(9):831-846

Prof, Dr med vet, Dr habil, Dip ECVIM-CA (Internal Medicine) Professor of Internal Medicine, Head of Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Germany.

Practical Relevance: Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus of domestic cats worldwide. Cats lacking strong FeLV-specific immunity and undergoing progressive infection commonly develop fatal FeLV-associated disease. Many aspects of FeLV infection pathogenesis have been elucidated, some during more recent years using molecular techniques. It is recommended that the FeLV status of every cat is known, since FeLV infection can influence the prognosis and clinical management of every sick cat. Moreover, knowledge of a cat's FeLV status is of epidemiological importance to prevent further spread of the infection.

Clinical Challenges: Diagnosing FeLV infection remains challenging due to different outcomes of infection, which can vary over time depending on the balance between the virus and the host's immune system. Furthermore, testing for FeLV infection has become more refined over the years and now includes diagnostic assays for different viral and immunological parameters. Knowledge of FeLV infection pathogenesis, as well as the particulars of FeLV detection methods, is an important prerequisite for correct interpretation of any test results and accurate determination of a cat's FeLV status.

Aims: The current review presents recent knowledge on FeLV pathogenesis, key features to be determined in FeLV infection, and frequently used FeLV detection methods, and their characteristics and interpretation. An algorithm for the diagnosis of FeLV infection in a single cat, developed by the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases, is included, and FeLV testing in specific situations is addressed. As well as increasing awareness of this deadly infection in domestic cats, the aim is to contribute diagnostic expertise to allow veterinarians in practice to improve their recognition, and further reduce the prevalence, of FeLV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X20941785DOI Listing
September 2020

[Canine meningoencephalitis and meningitis: retrospective analysis of a veterinary hospital population].

Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 2020 Aug 21;48(4):233-244. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Medizinische Kleintierklinik, Zentrum für Klinische Tiermedizin der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

Objective: Characterization of the etiology of meningoencephalitis and meningitis in dogs through an analysis of a veterinary hospital population.

Material And Methods: Retrospective study (2011-2016) with evaluation of clinical and diagnostic data of dogs with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pleocytosis (> 5/µl). Only dogs with cytological evaluation of CSF or pathological examination of CNS were included. Results of CSF cytology and examination for infectious diseases were reviewed.

Results: A total of 62 dogs met the inclusion criteria. 14.5 % (n = 9) were classified as reactive CSF pleocytosis due to other structural CNS disease, such as neoplasia or infarct. Meningoencephalitis or meningitis of unknown origin was diagnosed in 56.5 % (n = 35). In 29.0 % (n = 18), investigations for infectious diseases or presence of bacteria in CSF cytology (n = 5) indicated an infectious etiology. This infectious etiology appeared reliable in 6 dogs (9.7 %) based on the examination findings, in 9 dogs (14.5 %), there was only a suspicion of infectious meningoencephalitis or meningitis and in 3 dogs (4.8 %), the findings were of uncertain significance.

Conclusion: The most common cause of CSF pleocytosis was meningoencephalitis or meningitis of unknown origin. Nevertheless, there was evidence of a possible infectious etiology in 29 % of the dogs. For a reliable diagnosis, it is important to assess the CSF cytology and to conduct investigations for infectious diseases.

Clinical Relevance: Meningoencephalitis or meningitis of unknown origin requires immunosuppressive therapy. Therefore, CSF cytology and investigations for infectious diseases are important for an exclusion of infectious meningoencephalitis or meningitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1186-8051DOI Listing
August 2020

Correlation of Feline Coronavirus Shedding in Feces with Coronavirus Antibody Titer.

Pathogens 2020 Jul 22;9(8). Epub 2020 Jul 22.

Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany.

Background: Feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection is ubiquitous in multi-cat households. Responsible for the continuous presence are cats that are chronically shedding a high load of FCoV. The aim of the study was to determine a possible correlation between FCoV antibody titer and frequency and load of fecal FCoV shedding in cats from catteries.

Methods: Four fecal samples from each of 82 cats originating from 19 German catteries were examined for FCoV viral loads by quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Additionally, antibody titers were determined by an immunofluorescence assay.

Results: Cats with antibodies were more likely to be FCoV shedders than non-shedders, and there was a weak positive correlation between antibody titer and mean fecal virus load (Spearman = 0.2984; = 0.0072). Antibody titers were significantly higher if cats shed FCoV more frequently throughout the study period ( = 0.0063). When analyzing only FCoV shedders, cats that were RT-qPCR-positive in all four samples had significantly higher antibody titers ( = 0.0014) and significantly higher mean fecal virus loads ( = 0.0475) than cats that were RT-qPCR-positive in only one, two, or three samples.

Conclusions: The cats' antibody titers correlate with the likelihood and frequency of FCoV shedding and fecal virus load. Chronic shedders have higher antibody titers and shed more virus. This knowledge is important for the management of FCoV infections in multi-cat environments, but the results indicate that antibody measurement cannot replace fecal RT-qPCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9080598DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459802PMC
July 2020
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