Article Text

Factors associated with upper respiratory tract disease caused by feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus, Chlamydophila felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica in cats: experience from 218 European catteries
  1. C. R. Helps, BSc, PhD1,
  2. P. Lait, BSc1,
  3. A. Damhuis2,
  4. U. BjÖrnehammar, DVM3,
  5. D. Bolta, DVM4,
  6. C. Brovida, DVM5,
  7. L. Chabanne, DVM, PhD6,
  8. H. Egberink, DVM, PhD7,
  9. G. Ferrand, DVM6,
  10. A. Fontbonne, DVM8,
  11. M. G. Pennisi, DVM, PhD9,
  12. T. Gruffydd-Jones, BVetMed, PhD, DipECVIM, MRCVS1,
  13. D. Gunn-Moore, BSc, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS10,
  14. K. Hartmann, ProfDrVetMed, DrMedVetHabil, DipECVIM-CA11,
  15. H. Lutz, ProfDrFVH, FAMH12,
  16. E. Malandain, DVM, MSc8,
  17. K. MÖstl, ProfDr13,
  18. C. Stengel, DrMedVet11,
  19. D. A. Harbour, BSc, PhD1 and
  20. E. A. M. Graat, MSc, PhD2
  1. 1University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU
  2. 2Wageningen University, 6700 AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
  3. 3Smadjursklinik, 451 50 Uddevalla, Sweden
  4. 4C/Poeta Josep Cervera I Grifol 8, 46013 Valencia, Spain
  5. 5Ospedale Veterinario Anubi, 10024 Torino, Italy
  6. 6Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon, 69280 Marcy l’Etoile, France
  7. 7Utrecht University, 3584 CL Utrecht, The Netherlands
  8. 8Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d’Alfort, 94704 Maisons- Alfort Cedex, France
  9. 9Università degli Studi di Messina, 98168 Messina, Italy
  10. 10Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Roslin EH25 9GR
  11. 11Ludwig-Maximilians Universität, 80539 Munich, Germany
  12. 12Universität Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
  13. 13Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien,Vienna, Austria Correspondence to Dr Gunn-Moore


A full history of the management practices and the prevalence of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) at 218 rescue shelters, breeding establishments and private households with five or more cats was recorded. Oropharyngeal and conjunctival swabs and blood samples were taken from 1748 cats. The prevalences of feline herpesvirus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), Chlamydophila felis and Bordetella bronchiseptica were determined by PCR on swab samples. An ELISA was applied to determine the prevalence of antibodies to B bronchiseptica. The rates of detection by PCR of each pathogen in the cats in catteries with and without ongoing URTD were, respectively, FHV 16 per cent and 8 per cent; FCV 47 per cent and 29 per cent; C felis 10 per cent and 3 per cent; and B bronchiseptica 5 per cent and 1·3 per cent; the seroprevalences of B bronchiseptica were 61 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively. There was evidence that FHV, FCV and B bronchiseptica played a role in URTD. The risk factors associated with the disease were less than excellent hygiene, contact with dogs with URTD, and larger numbers of cats in the cattery or household.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.