Preliminary study of Cytauxzoon felis infection in outdoor cats in Mashhad, Iran.Parasitol Res. 2020 Jun 25 [Online ahead of print]PR
The objectives of the current study were to assess the preliminary status of Cytauxzoon felis (C. felis) infection among outdoor cats in Mashhad, Iran and also to compare clinicopathological findings between C. felis infected and non-infected cats. Blood samples were collected from 100 outdoor domestic cats between April and September in 2019. Infection with C. felis was determined using microscopic observation of giemsa-stained blood smears and molecular analysis. The piroplasms was microscopically detected in 5 (5%) of the blood smears with low parasitemia. The presence of C. felis was confirmed in one positive microscopy sample by PCR. The molecular assay revealed that 19 cats (19%) were infected with C. felis. Hematological and some serum biochemical factors were evaluated in both of the infected and non-infected cats. There was no association between C. felis infection and age, gender, and laboratory findings except for hematocrit (Hct) and concentration of total protein and globulin. Clinical signs such as fever, dehydration, lethargy, and icterus were observed only in 15.78% (3/19) of the infected cats, while 84.22% (16/19) were asymptomatic. Laboratory findings such as non-regenerative anemia, thrombocytopenia, neutrophilic leukocytosis hyperproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and hyperbilirubinemia were detected in the clinically infected cats. This study revealed the relatively high frequency of C. felis infection in outdoor domestic cats in Mashahd, Iran. The predominance of asymptomatic infection likely indicates that these cats may be infected with low-virulent strains of C. felis.