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Diseases Transmitted by Cats

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  • Authors: Ellie J. C. Goldstein1, Fredrick M. Abrahamian3
  • Editor: David Schlossberg5
  • VIEW AFFILIATIONS HIDE AFFILIATIONS
    Affiliations: 1: R. M. Alden Research Laboratory, Santa Monica, CA 90404; 2: Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095; 3: Department of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095; 4: Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Sylmar, CA 91342; 5: Philadelphia Health Department, Philadelphia, PA
  • Source: microbiolspec September 2015 vol. 3 no. 5 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015
  • Received 18 March 2015 Accepted 08 April 2015 Published 04 September 2015
  • Fredrick M. Abrahamian, fmasjc@ucla.edu
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  • Abstract:

    Humans and cats have shared a close relationship since ancient times. Millions of cats are kept as household pets, and 34% of households have cats. There are numerous diseases that may be transmitted from cats to humans. General modes of transmission, with some overlapping features, can occur through inhalation (e.g., bordetellosis); vector-borne spread (e.g., ehrlichiosis); fecal-oral route (e.g., campylobacteriosis); bite, scratch, or puncture (e.g., rabies); soil-borne spread (e.g., histoplasmosis); and direct contact (e.g., scabies). It is also likely that the domestic cat can potentially act as a reservoir for many other zoonoses that are not yet recognized. The microbiology of cat bite wound infections in humans is often polymicrobial with a broad mixture of aerobic (e.g., , , ) and anaerobic (e.g., , , ) microorganisms. Bacteria recovered from infected cat bite wounds are most often reflective of the oral flora of the cat, which can also be influenced by the microbiome of their ingested prey and other foods. Bacteria may also originate from the victim’s own skin or the physical environment at the time of injury.

  • Citation: Goldstein E, Abrahamian F. 2015. Diseases Transmitted by Cats. Microbiol Spectrum 3(5):IOL5-0013-2015. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015.

Key Concept Ranking

Infection and Immunity
0.4882541
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
0.44859535
Upper Gastrointestinal Tract
0.41954476
0.4882541

References

1. Abrahamian FM, Goldstein EJC. 2011. Microbiology of animal bite wound infections. Clin Microbiol Rev 24:231–246. [PubMed][CrossRef]
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2006. Human plague: four states, 2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 55:940–943. [PubMed]
3. Conrads G, Citron DM, Mutters R, Jang S, Goldstein EJ. 2004. Fusobacterium canifelinum sp. nov., from the oral cavity of cats and dogs. Syst Appl Microbiol 27:407–413. [PubMed][CrossRef]
4. de Lima Barros MB, de Oliveira Schubach A, Galhardo MC, Schubach TM, dos Reis RS, Conceição MJ, do Valle AC. 2003. Sporotrichosis with widespread cutaneous lesions: report of 24 cases related to transmission by domestic cats in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Int J Dermatol 42:677–681. [PubMed][CrossRef]
5. Dyer JL, Yager P, Orciari L, Greenberg L, Wallace R, Hanlon CA, Blanton JD. 2014. Rabies surveillance in the United States during 2013. J Am Vet Med Assoc 245:1111–1123. [PubMed][CrossRef]
6. Gage KL, Dennis DT, Orloski KA, Ettestad P, Brown TL, Reynolds PJ, Pape WJ, Fritz CL, Carter LG, Stein JD. 2000. Cases of cat-associated human plague in the Western US, 1977-1998. Clin Infect Dis 30:893–900. [PubMed][CrossRef]
7. Goldstein EJC, Abrahamian FM. 2014. Bites, p 3510–3515. In Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ (ed), Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 8th ed. Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA.
8. Holst E, Rollof J, Larsson L, Nielsen JP. 1992. Characterization and distribution of Pasteurella species recovered from infected humans. J Clin Microbiol 30:2984–2987. [PubMed]
9. Kravetz JD, Federman DG. 2002. Cat-associated zoonoses. Arch Intern Med 162:1945–1952. [PubMed][CrossRef]
10. Kuno A, Ido K, Isoda N, Satoh Y, Ono K, Satoh S, Inamori H, Sugano K, Kanai N, Nishizawa T, Okamoto H. 2003. Sporadic acute hepatitis E of a 47-year-old man whose pet cat was positive for antibody to hepatitis E virus. Hepatol Res 26:237–242. [PubMed][CrossRef]
11. Leonard FC, Markey BK. 2008. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in animals: a review. Vet J 175:27–36. [PubMed][CrossRef]
12. MacKenzie WR, Hoxie NJ, Proctor ME, Gradus MS, Blair KA, Peterson DE, Kazmierczak JJ, Addiss DG, Fox KR, Rose JB, Davis JP. 1994. A massive outbreak in Milwaukee of cryptosporidium infection transmitted through the public water supply. N Engl J Med 331:161–167. [PubMed][CrossRef]
13. Maia C, Nunez M, Campino L. 2008. Importance of cats in zoonotic leishmaniasis in Portugal. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis 8:555–560. [PubMed][CrossRef]
14. Malnick H, Williams K, Phil-Ebosie J, Levy AS. 1990. Description of a medium for isolating Anaerobiospirillum spp., a possible cause of zoonotic disease, from diarrheal feces and blood of humans and use of the medium in a survey of human, canine, and feline feces. J Clin Microbiol 28:1380–1384. [PubMed]
15. Rupprecht CE, Briggs D, Brown CM, Franka R, Katz SL, Kerr HD, Lett SM, Levis R, Meltzer MI, Schaffner W, Cieslak PR; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 2010. Use of a reduced (4-dose) vaccine schedule for postexposure prophylaxis to prevent human rabies: recommendations of the advisory committee on immunization practices. MMWR Recomm Rep 59(RR-2):1–9. [PubMed]
16. Schubach A, Barros MB, Wanke B. 2008. Epidemic sporotrichosis. Curr Opin Infect Dis 21:129–133. [PubMed][CrossRef]
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/content/journal/microbiolspec/10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015
2015-09-04
2017-10-21

Abstract:

Humans and cats have shared a close relationship since ancient times. Millions of cats are kept as household pets, and 34% of households have cats. There are numerous diseases that may be transmitted from cats to humans. General modes of transmission, with some overlapping features, can occur through inhalation (e.g., bordetellosis); vector-borne spread (e.g., ehrlichiosis); fecal-oral route (e.g., campylobacteriosis); bite, scratch, or puncture (e.g., rabies); soil-borne spread (e.g., histoplasmosis); and direct contact (e.g., scabies). It is also likely that the domestic cat can potentially act as a reservoir for many other zoonoses that are not yet recognized. The microbiology of cat bite wound infections in humans is often polymicrobial with a broad mixture of aerobic (e.g., , , ) and anaerobic (e.g., , , ) microorganisms. Bacteria recovered from infected cat bite wounds are most often reflective of the oral flora of the cat, which can also be influenced by the microbiome of their ingested prey and other foods. Bacteria may also originate from the victim’s own skin or the physical environment at the time of injury.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Cat scratch disease. Tender, regional lymphadenopathy often develops near the location of a cat bite or scratch. Image courtesy of CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/diseases/cat-scratch.html. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015.f1

Source: microbiolspec September 2015 vol. 3 no. 5 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of methicillin-resistant . Image courtesy of CDC; Janice Haney Carr; Jeff Hageman, M.H.S; Public Health Image Library; Image #10047. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015.f2

Source: microbiolspec September 2015 vol. 3 no. 5 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015
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Image of FIGURE 3
FIGURE 3

; magnified 475x. Image courtesy of CDC; Dr. Lucille K. Georg; Public Health Image Library; Image #15472. doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015.f3

Source: microbiolspec September 2015 vol. 3 no. 5 doi:10.1128/microbiolspec.IOL5-0013-2015
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