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Chapter 8 : Pathogens of Cats

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Abstract:

Most cats used in research are purpose bred, of very high quality, and of low pathogen status, and are purchased from reputable dealers. Similarly, caretakers may unknowingly transmit pathogens from their own pet cats to those in the animal facility. For these reasons, it is imperative that the laboratory animal veterinarian and biomedical researcher be aware of the natural pathogens of cats, and their documented or potential effects on research. Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is the most thoroughly investigated pathogen infecting cats. Opportunistic pathogens shown to be associated with FIV include viral (feline poxvirus, feline calicivirus), bacterial (, Listeria monocytogenes), mycotic (, spp., , ), and parasitic () agents. In vitro studies also reveal effects of feline leukemia virus (FELV), including increased release of hematopoietic growth factors in fibroblast cultures, cytolysis of early erythroid progenitor cells, envelope protein-induced neurotoxicity, altered cell metabolism, and reduction of growth-inhibitory activity by bone marrow stromal cells. In addition to directly causing disease, serves as an intermediate host for , a tapeworm capable of infecting cats, and may vector blood-borne pathogens such as , , , and others. Control is based on screening and/or treatment of cats prior to admission into the animal facility.

Citation: Baker D. 2003. Pathogens of Cats, p 207-238. In Natural Pathogens of Laboratory Animals. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817824.ch8
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