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Clinical, laboratory and pathological findings in cats experimentally infected with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus


Schnyder, Manuela; Di Cesare, A; Basso, Walter; Guscetti, Franco; Riond, Barbara; Glaus, Toni M; Crisi, P; Deplazes, Peter (2014). Clinical, laboratory and pathological findings in cats experimentally infected with Aelurostrongylus abstrusus. Parasitology Research, 113(4):1425-1433.

Abstract

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus parasitizes the respiratory tract and can heavily affect the breathing and general condition of cats. Experimental infections of six cats were initiated by intragastric administration with 100 or 800 third-stage larvae (L3) obtained from the terrestrial snail Helix aspersa. First-stage larvae were isolated from faecal samples after 35-41 days post infection (dpi) in five animals and until end of study (84 dpi) in two cats. Cough and respiratory sounds were observed starting from 28 to 41 dpi and dyspnoea and panting starting from 52 dpi. All cats had enlarged lymph nodes and, starting from 56 dpi, reduced body weight, and four cats showed intermittent reduced general condition with apathia and anorexia. Eosinophilia and leucocytosis partially with massive lymphocytosis, and occasional basophilia and monocytosis were observed. Mild anaemia was present in five cats, while alterations in coagulation parameters suggested stimulation of the coagulation cascade with increased consumption of coagulation factors (delayed PT, hypofibrinogenemia). Adult A. abstrusus specimens were isolated from the five patent cats at necropsy and all six cats showed pathological changes in the lungs, including disseminated inflammatory cell infiltrates, often associated with incorporated larvae and eggs. There was some degree of overlap between the severity and the inoculation doses. Infections starting from 100 L3 of A. abstrusus had an impact on the lung tissues and on the health of the cats, despite the presence of only mild haematological abnormalities. Due to the worldwide occurrence of feline lung worms, parasitic infections should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lung diseases regardless of the presence of clinical signs and larval excretion.

Abstract

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus parasitizes the respiratory tract and can heavily affect the breathing and general condition of cats. Experimental infections of six cats were initiated by intragastric administration with 100 or 800 third-stage larvae (L3) obtained from the terrestrial snail Helix aspersa. First-stage larvae were isolated from faecal samples after 35-41 days post infection (dpi) in five animals and until end of study (84 dpi) in two cats. Cough and respiratory sounds were observed starting from 28 to 41 dpi and dyspnoea and panting starting from 52 dpi. All cats had enlarged lymph nodes and, starting from 56 dpi, reduced body weight, and four cats showed intermittent reduced general condition with apathia and anorexia. Eosinophilia and leucocytosis partially with massive lymphocytosis, and occasional basophilia and monocytosis were observed. Mild anaemia was present in five cats, while alterations in coagulation parameters suggested stimulation of the coagulation cascade with increased consumption of coagulation factors (delayed PT, hypofibrinogenemia). Adult A. abstrusus specimens were isolated from the five patent cats at necropsy and all six cats showed pathological changes in the lungs, including disseminated inflammatory cell infiltrates, often associated with incorporated larvae and eggs. There was some degree of overlap between the severity and the inoculation doses. Infections starting from 100 L3 of A. abstrusus had an impact on the lung tissues and on the health of the cats, despite the presence of only mild haematological abnormalities. Due to the worldwide occurrence of feline lung worms, parasitic infections should be considered in the differential diagnosis of lung diseases regardless of the presence of clinical signs and larval excretion.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology

05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:21 Mar 2014 16:39
Last Modified:20 Jun 2017 07:22
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0932-0113
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-014-3783-2
PubMed ID:24504600

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