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Risk factors of hemoplasma infections in cats

Bergmann M, Englert T, et al. Risk factors of different hemoplasma species infections in cats. BMC Veterinary Research. 2017 Feb 16;13(1):52.

Hemoplasma bacteria affect many animal species including cats and cause hemolytic anemia. Transmission may occur by arthropods such as fleas as well as with exchange of blood during aggressive interactions between cats. Worldwide, cats may be infected with Hemoplasma species such as Mycoplasma hemofelis. However, true prevalence levels remain unknown, as most studies have focused only on cats with anemia. These investigators examined blood samples from 479 cats in Germany by PCR for detection of the organism. In addition, they examined certain risk factors to determine their association with infection.

Results indicated an overall prevalence rate near 10%. There was significantly higher risk among cats from multicat households. In addition, outdoors cats, male cats and cats with FIV were also at higher risk. This may reflect higher risk for aggressive interactions. Interestingly, cats with FeLV were at higher risk, but most cats in this study cleared FeLV infection and did not become persistently infected, and did not manifest signs of hemoplasma infection. The risk factors identified in this study seem to reflect the risk for cat interaggression and parasitism with arthropods such as fleas.

See also:
Sykes JE. Feline hemotropic mycoplasmas. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2010 Nov;40(6):1157-70.