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Prevalence of infectious diseases in cats in Scotland

A. D. Bennett, D. A. Gunn-Moore, M. Brewer, M. R. Lappin

THIS study aimed to determine the prevalence of selected infectious agents in cats in Scotland.

Cats presenting for routine investigation at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies between June and August 2009 were included in the study. Information regarding the use of a flea and tick preventive was recorded. Blood samples were taken and swab samples were collected from the oral mucosa and nail beds. Total DNA was extracted and PCR assays were used to amplify DNA of Ehrlichia, Neorickettsia and Anaplasma species, Rickettsia species, haemoplasmas, six Bartonella species, and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (DNA control). Sequencing was used where necessary to determine the species isolated. Antibody titres of Bartonella species and Toxoplasma gondii were determined by ELISAs.

A total of 78 cats were included in the study: 61 were client-owned and 17 were from rescue centres. Forty cats were clinically ill and 38 were considered to be healthy. Twenty-three (29.5 per cent) cats were being treated with a flea or tick preventive at the time of the sample collection. No Ehrlichia or …

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