Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Mycoplasma haemofelis, 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum' and 'Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis'

Synonym(s): Haemotrophic mycoplasmas, Haemobartonella felis, haemoplasmas, feline infectious anemia, FIA, Eperythrozoon felis

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson, Melissa Kennedy, Severine Tasker

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Species: M. haemofelis and M. haemominutum.
  • Genus: Mycoplasma.
  • Family: Mycoplasmataceae.
  • Order: Mycoplasmatales.
  • Class: Mollicutes.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • The erythrocyte surface.

Lifecycle

  • Following inoculation, bacteria numbers increase rapidly to reach a maximum between 10 and 30 days depending on the infecting species.

Transmission

  • Experimental transmission possible with infected blood given IV, IP, SC and orally.
  • Vectors may be involved. Exact mode unknown, Ctenocephalides felis  Ctenocephalides felis  are suspected of transmitting M. haemofelis, but M. haemofelis has occurred in Salt Lake City, Utah, where fleas are virtually unknown. Ticks have also been implicated.
  • Biting may transmit infection.
  • Transplacental may be possible - M. haemofelis has been found in kittens less than a day old. Certainly queen to kitten transmission occurs, but whether this is before or after birth is unknown.
  • Iatrogenic - real risk of transmission via blood transfusions   Anemia: transfusion indications  .

Pathological effects

  • Usually affects cats with some degree of immunosuppression but may be primary pathogen in some cases especially when M. haemofelis is the infecting haemoplasma species.
  • Can induce an immune-mediated hemolytic anemia. Cats can become Coombs' positive or show positive autoagglutination after washing of erythrocytes in saline.
  • Parasitized red blood cells are sequestered in the spleen, where the parasite is removed.
  • Pyrexia, 104.5-107°F.
  • Regenerative anemia Anemia: overview, mild or severe (PCV = 0.1-0.3 l/l). Anemia may be non-regenerative if concurrent disease present or in acute stages.
  • Immune-mediated hemolytic anemia Anemia: immune-mediated hemolytic.
  • Pale mucous membranes.
  • Anorexia, pica, depression, weight loss.
  • Splenomegaly.
  • Dehydration marked in acutely infected cases.
  • Jaundice in severe and acute cases.
  • Fading kittens Fading kitten syndrome(which may be jaundiced: differentiate from neonatal isoerythrolysis Neonatal isoerythrolysiswhich occurs in first 24-48 h of life).
  • Unlike haemotropic mycoplasmas of dogs, cats with spleens can show signs of disease, particularly with M. haemofelis (in dogs, disease due to haemotropic mycoplasmas usually seen only in splenectomized animals).

Control

Control via chemotherapies

  • Doxycycline  Doxycycline 5-10 mg/kg SID-BID.
  • Oxytetracycline  Oxytetracycline 20 mg/kg TID. 
  • Marbofloxacin  Marbofloxacin  2 mg/kg SID.
  • Other fluoroquinolones likely to be effective.
  • No antibiotic treatment regime has been shown to consistently eliminate haemoplasma infection, although regimes are usually effective at resolving clinical signs. Recommendation is for 6-8 weeks of antibiotic treatment to maximize chances of clearance of infection.
  • Some recommend prednisolone  Prednisolone (1-2 mg/kg BID, reducing as improvement occurs) if immune-mediated hemolytic anemia is present but cats with positive Coombs' tests  Direct Coombs' test usually recover with antibiotic treatment alone suggesting that corticosteroids are not required.

Control via environment

  • Separate infected from non-infected cats.
  • Vigorous flea control.
  • Treat all infected animals.
  • Haemoplasmas do not survive outside of the host.

Vaccination

  • No vaccine.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Dowers K L, Tasker S, Radecki S V & Lappin M R (2009) Use of pradofloxacin to treat experimentally induced Mycoplasma hemofelis infection in cats. Am J Vet Res70, 105-111 PubMed.
  • Gentilini F, Novacco M, Turba M E, Willi B, Bacci M L & Hofmann-Lehmann R (2009) Use of combined conventional and real-time PCR to determine the epidemiology of feline haemoplasma infections in northern Italy. J Feline Med Surg 11, 277-285 PubMed.
  • Museux K et al (2009) In vivo transmission studies of 'Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis' in the domestic cat. Vet Res 40, 45 PubMed.
  • Tasker S et al (2009) Description of outcomes of experimental infection with feline haemoplasmas: copy numbers, haematology, coombs' testing and blood glucose concentrations. Vet MicrobiolJun 21 PubMed.
  • Macieira D B, de Menezes R D, Damico C B, Almosny N R, McLane H L, Daggy J K & Messick J B (2008) Prevalence and risk factors for hemoplasmas in domestic cats naturally infected with feline immunodeficiency virus and/or feline leukemia virus in Rio de Janeiro - Brazil. J Feline Med Surg 10, 120-129 PubMed.
  • Peters I R, Helps C R, Willi B, Hofmann-Lehmann R & Tasker S (2008) The prevalence of three species of feline haemoplasmas in samples submitted to a diagnostics service as determind by three novel real-time duplex PCR assays. Vet Microbiol 126, 142-150 PubMed.
  • Sykes J E, Terry J C, Lindsay L L & Owens S D (2008) Prevalences of various hemoplasma species among cats in the United States with possible haemoplasmosis. JAVMA 232, 372-379 PubMed.
  • Ishak A M, Radecki S & Lappin M R (2007)Prevalence of Mycoplasma haemofelis, ' CandidatusMycoplasma haemominutum', Bartonellaspecies, Ehrlichiaspecies, and Anaplasma phagocytophilumDNA in the blood of cats with anemia. J Feline Med Surg9, 1-7PubMed.
  • Reynolds C A & Lappin M R (2007)CandidatusMycoplasma haemominutum" infections in 21 client-owned cats. JAAHA43, 249-257.
  • Sykes J E, Drazenovich N L, Ball L M & Leutenegger C M (2007a)Use of conventional and real-time polymerase chain reaction to determine the epidemiology of hemoplasma infections in anemic and nonanemic cats. J Vet Int Med21, 685-693PubMed.
  • Sykes J E, Drazenovich N L,Kyles A E,  Ball L M & Leutenegger C M (2007b)Detection of mixed infections with " CandidatusMycoplasma haemonomitum" and Mycoplasma haemofelisusing real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction. J Vet Diag Inves19, 250-255PubMed.
  • Willi B, Boretti F A, Tasker S, Meli M L, Wengi N, Reusch C E, Lutz H & Hofmann-Lehmann R (2007)From Haemobartonella to hemoplasma: molecular methods provide new insights. Vet Microbiol125, 197-209PubMed.
  • Tasker S (2006)Current concepts in feline haemobartonellosis. In Practice28, 136-141.
  • Tasker S et al(2006a)Effect of chronic FIV infection, and efficacy of marbofloxacin treatment on ' CandidatusMycoplasma haemominutum' infection. Microbes Infect8, 653-661.

Organization(s)


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