Evaluation of hematological alteration of vector‐borne pathogens in cats from Bangkok, Thailand

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2021
Authors:T. Do, Kamyingkird, K., Chimnoi, W., Inpankaew, T.
Journal:BMC Veterinary Research
Pagination:9 pp
Date Published:Jan-18-2021
Type of Article:Open Access
Keywords:Babesia, Hematological parameters, Hemoplasmas, Hepatozoon, Semi- domesticated cats, vector-borne pathogens

Background Cats can be carriers of infected arthropods and be infected with several vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) but there is limited knowledge about their pathogenic role in cats. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of some feline vector-borne agents by molecular technique and to characterize the hematological findings associated with these infections in a cat population from Bangkok Thailand.

Results PCR was positive with at least one pathogen in 237 out of 372 subjects (63.7%), with prevalence of 39.5% (147/372) for Babesia spp., 36.9% (137/372) for hemoplasmas and 3.2% (12/372) for Hepatozoon spp. The cats older than 1 year were at significantly greater risk for VBPs infection (P = 0.001; OR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.12 – 1.81) and hemoplasmas infection (χ2 = 10.8, df = 1; P < 0.0001; OR = 2.45; 95% CI: 1.49 – 4.01). A significant association between hematological findings and hemoplasma infection were identified in the present study. Besides, VBPs infection revealed more frequent in male cats (χ2= 6.38, df = 1, P = 0.01). Macrocytic hypochromic type of anemia was observed in cats infested with blood-sucking arthropods compared to the non-infested cats presented.

Conclusions The current study confirmed that Babesia, Hepatozoon and hemoplasmas had infected semi-domesticated cats in Bangkok, Thailand, with Babesia and hemoplasmas being dominant in prevalence. Some hematological findings were significantly associated with cats infected with vector-borne pathogens in this study including leukocyte count and platelets count that may help support veterinary technicians in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Campaigns of VBPs monitoring in Bangkok emphasizing on the investigation of vectors and possible routes of the infection in animals should be conducted to prevent the transmission of the pathogens.

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