Title page for ETD etd-08232010-140244

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hsu, Hsing-Ho Vasha
URN etd-08232010-140244
Title Prevalence Of Igg Antibodies To Encephalitozoon Cuniculi, Toxoplasma Gondii, And Sarcocystis Neurona In Domestic Cats
Degree Master of Science In the Life Sciences
Department Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Lindsay, David S. Committee Chair
Witonsky, Sharon G. Committee Member
Zajac, Anne M. Committee Member
  • cat
  • chronic kidney disease
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Sarcocystis neurona
  • Encephalitozoon cuniculi
Date of Defense 2010-08-10
Availability restricted
Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona are intracellular parasites that infect a wide range of mammalian host species including domestic cats. The prevalence of antibodies to these parasites in cats was examined using an indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay. E. cuniculi targets the kidneys of rabbits but the prevalence of disease in cats is unknown. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a common cause of illness in cats. T. gondii is a widespread parasite of cats; however, it is not considered a major causative agent of CKD. The first hypothesis was that E. cuniculi and T. gondii are unrecognized causes of chronic kidney disease in domestic cats. Serum and plasma samples were examined for protozoal antibodies from 232 feline patients at the VMRCVM Teaching Hospital. Thirty-six of the 232 samples met the IRIS criteria for CKD. Antibodies to E. cuniculi were found in 15 samples, 4 of which came from cats with CKD. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 63 samples; 10 cats of the 63 had CKD. These were not significantly different from cats with no CKD and the null hypothesis was rejected.

Domestic cats, armadillos, raccoons and skunks are intermediate hosts (IH) for S. neurona while opossums are the definitive host (DH). The seroprevalence of S. neurona was examined in domestic cats from Virginia and Pennsylvania. The second hypothesis was that domestic cats are important IH for S. neurona transmission. A low seroprevalence was found in 32 of the 441 cats and the null hypothesis was rejected.

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