Fatal Chlamydia psittaci infection in a domestic kitten.J Vet Diagn Invest. 2020 Oct 28 [Online ahead of print]JV
Chlamydia psittaci has not been reported to cause disease in domestic cats, to our knowledge. In contrast, C. felis infection is common in domestic cats and typically results in conjunctivitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and less frequently pneumonia. Herein, we report the pathologic findings and diagnostic features of a fatal case of psittacosis in a 7-wk-old domestic kitten. The animal was 1 of a litter of 5 that, together with the queen, were yielded to a pet rescue center in Wyoming. Over a period of ~3 wk, the kittens and queen became sick, thin, and icteric prior to death, despite antimicrobial treatments. Postmortem evaluation of a kitten revealed necrosuppurative hepatitis with Gimenez stain-positive intracellular bacteria, nonsuppurative pneumonia, and mild leptomeningitis. The diagnosis of psittacosis was made by 16S rRNA PCR using multiple primer sets and sequencing from liver. Psittacosis should be considered a differential diagnosis in domestic cats with intracellular bacterial hepatitis and interstitial pneumonia.