Table of Contents
ISRN Microbiology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 298352, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/298352
Research Article

Prevalence of Haemoplasma Infections in Stray Cats in Northern Italy

1Reparto di Medicina Emotrasfusionale Veterinaria (REV), Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie per la Salute, la Produzione Animale e la Sicurezza Alimentare (VE.S.P.A.), Università degli Studi di Milano, Via G. Celoria, 10-20133 Milano, Italy
2Centro di Referenza Nazionale per Anaplasma, Babesia, Rickettsia e Theileria (C.R.A.Ba.R.T), Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sicilia, Via G. Marinuzzi, 3-90129 Palermo, Italy

Received 8 December 2013; Accepted 16 January 2014; Published 23 February 2014

Academic Editors: R. E. Levin and D. Rodríguez-Lázaro

Copyright © 2014 Eva Spada et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

This study investigated the prevalence of feline haemoplasma infections in a number of stray cat colonies in Milan, Northern Italy. Blood samples from 260 stray cats were evaluated, with conventional PCR, for the presence of DNA associated with Mycoplasma haemofelis (Mhf) and “Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum” (CMhm). Odd ratios (OR) were calculated to identify risk factors for haemoplasma infections. PCR was positive in 86 out of 260 subjects (33.1%), with a prevalence of 10.8% (28/260 cats) for Mhf and 22.3% (58/260 cats) for CMhm. No coinfections were registered. There were significant associations between infections and season of sampling, that is, a negative association between winter sampling and a haemoplasma positive status , , or CMhm positive status , . Haemoplasma infections are common in stray cats in Milan. Thus, domestic cats with outdoor access should be routinely monitored and treated for ectoparasites to minimize risks of disease acquisition. Moreover, as these infections are transmitted via blood, feline blood donors from this area should be screened by PCR and preferably be drawn from a population of indoor cats regularly treated for fleas.