Coombs’, haemoplasma and retrovirus testing in feline anaemia
Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2010
© 2010 British Small Animal Veterinary Association
Journal of Small Animal Practice
Volume 51, Issue 4, pages 192–199, April 2010
How to Cite
Tasker, S., Murray, J. K., Knowles, T. G. and Day, M. J. (2010), Coombs’, haemoplasma and retrovirus testing in feline anaemia. Journal of Small Animal Practice, 51: 192–199. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2009.00869.x
- Issue online: 22 MAR 2010
- Version of Record online: 11 JAN 2010
- Accepted: 9 October 2009; Published online: 11 January 2010
Objective: To investigate the associations between Coombs’ testing, haemoplasma and retroviral infections, and feline anaemia.
Methods: Haematology, Coombs’ testing (including assessment of persistent autoagglutination) and selected infection testing (haemoplasma, feline leukaemia virus/feline immunodeficiency virus provirus) were performed in blood samples collected from 60 anaemic and 60 non-anaemic cats.
Results: No association between infection and anaemia or Coombs’ positivity existed. Anaemic cats (21.7%) were significantly more likely than non-anaemic cats (0%) to have cold autoagglutination (P<0.0001), but significance (set at ≤0.0025 due to multiple testing) was not quite reached when Coombs’ positivity was compared between anaemic (40.4% and 21.7% positive at 4°C and 37°C, respectively) and non-anaemic (20% and 3.3% positive, P=0.021 and P=0.004, at 4°C and 37°C, respectively) cats. Cats with immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia were significantly more likely to have persistent cold autoagglutination (P<0.0001) and be Coombs’ positive at 37°C with polyvalent (P<0.0001), immunoglobulin (Ig)G (P<0.0001) or any antiserum (P<0.0001). Haemoplasmas and retroviruses were uncommonly detected.
Clinical Significance: Cats suspected of having immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia should be evaluated for persistent autoagglutination at 4°C as well as performing Coombs’ testing at 37°C, but positive results may occur in with other forms of anaemia. Testing for erythrocyte-bound antibodies should always be interpreted in parallel with documentation of haemolysis in anaemic cats.