Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Arthritis: rickettsial

Contributor(s): John Innes, James Cook, Eithne Comerford

Introduction

  • A group of tick-transmitted rickettsial diseases - native to North America, which may cause abortion Pregnancy loss (resorption and abortion) and subclinical infections in cats.
  • Signs: potential causal organisms: Ehrlicia canisRickettsia felis and Coxiella burnetti  Coxiella burnettii.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs such as abortion, serologic testing, identification of Ehrlichia morulae-like structures within the cytoplasm of leukocytes in cats. 
  • Treatment: tetracyclines.
  • Prognosis: animals may be asymptomatic carriers.
     

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Causal organism: Rickettsia spp - Erhlichia morulae.
  • Ehrlichia Canis.
  • Rickettsia felis (has been isolated from Ctenocephalides felis).
  • Coxiella burnetti.

Specific

  • Tick bites by infected ticks.
  • Ingestion of contaminated carcasses or aerosolization from a contaminated environment.

Pathophysiology

  • Hematogenous spread of causal organism to synovial membrane    →   inflammatory reaction within joint     →   non-erosive polyarthritis Arthritis: polyarthritis - idiopathic.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Breitschwerdt E B, Abrams-Ogg A C, Lappin M R et al (2002) Molecular evidence supporting Ehrlichia canis-like infection in cats. J Vet Intern Med 16 (6), 642-649 PubMed.
  • Carr A P (1997) Infectious arthritis in dogs and cats. Vet Med 92 (9), 786-797 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Troy G C & Forrester S D (1990) Canine Ehrlichiosis. In: Infectious diseases of the dog and cat. Greene C E (ed) Philadelphia: W B Saunders. pp 404-414.


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