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Cryptosporidium infection in cats with FeLV or FIV

de Oliveira Lemos F, Almosny NP, Soares AMB, et al. Cryptosporidium species screening using Kinyoun technique in domestic cats with diarrhea. J Feline Med Surg 2012;14:113-117.

C. parvum oocysts

Cryptosporidium is an obligate coccidian that can cause diarrhea. Transmission is primarily through ingestion of contaminated water, though contaminated food and direct contact with animals and contaminated surfaces also can be source of infection. In immune competent animals, infection can be self-limiting. Infection can become severe and chronic in immune compromised patients. Generally, C. felis is a subclinical infection in cats but infection by C. parvum may lead to diarrhea. A common cause of immune suppression in cats is retrovirus infection. This study looked at whether cats infected by a retrovirus are more susceptible to Cryptosporidium infection and whether they exhibit more severe clinical signs. Blood and fecal samples were collected from 60 cats and evaluated for Cryptosporidium and for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) antigen and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibody by ELISA testing. Five cats were found to be shedding oocysts. Of these five cats, four were FeLV positive and one was both FeLV and FIV negative. The cats that were FeLV positive had more severe and chronic diarrhea with a larger number of oocysts, while the FeLV/FIV negative cat had a self-limiting diarrhea. [VT]

See also: Scorza V, Tangtrongsup S. Update on the diagnosis and management of Cryptosporidium spp infections in dogs and cats. Top Companion Anim Med 2010;25:163-169.