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Keywords:

  • 28S rDNA;
  • Chlamydophila felis;
  • different sampling techniques;
  • FHV-1;
  • Mycoplasma felis;
  • real-time PCR

Abstract

Objective  To investigate how different sampling techniques affect detection of DNA from feline herpes virus Type 1 (FHV-1), Chlamydophila felis and Mycoplasma felis and to study the correlation between positive test results and clinical signs in cats.

Animals  Fifty-one cats; 24 with ocular signs and 27 healthy control cats.

Procedures  Samples were collected from all cats using cotton swabs, conjunctival and corneal biopsies, and corneal scrapings. Samples were analyzed for presence of FHV-1, C. felis, M. felis, and feline DNA, defined by 28S rDNA, by using real-time PCR.

Results  In affected cats, FHV-1 was detected in only one cat; C. felis and M. felis were not detected in any affected cats. None of the three organisms was detected in any control cats. Feline DNA was demonstrated in all conjunctival samples, in 82% of corneal swabs, 92% of corneal scrapings, and 100% of keratectomy samples.

Conclusions  Because of the generally low detection rate for FHV-1, C. felis, and M. felis DNA in this study, differences regarding sampling technique could not be determined and correlation between positive test results and degree of clinical signs could not be made. Detection of feline DNA in most samples irrespective of sampling technique, suggests a low prevalence of FHV-1, C. felis and M. felis in this population of cats.