Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Identify Suspect Organism In Feline Infectious Anemia

Date:
March 6, 2000
Source:
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
Veterinary scientists have proved that an organism long suspected as the cause of feline infectious anemia (FIA) indeed is the culprit. Along the way, they have created a diagnostic tool and concluded that the bacterial organism is a mycoplasm, not a Rickkettsia.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Veterinary scientists have proved that an organism long suspected as the cause of feline infectious anemia (FIA) indeed is the culprit. Along the way, they have created a diagnostic tool and concluded that the bacterial organism is a mycoplasm, not a Rickkettsia.

The molecular confirmation that FIA is caused by Haemobartenella felis -- described in an article in the January issue of Veterinary Pathology -- came after a series of studies at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Using a technique known as in situ hybridization, researchers showed that a small gene fragment, which they had identified earlier, linked positively to H. felis located on red blood cells taken from experimentally infected cats.

"These organisms are teeny tiny parasites," said Joanne B. Messick, a UI professor of veterinary pathology. "For years they were thought to be rickettsial, but our laboratory and at least two other laboratories now show that they are not rickettsial. They are mycoplasma organisms."

Rickettsia is a gram-negative, disease-causing intracellular parasitic bacterium whose transmission has been linked to fleas, ticks, mice and lice. Mycoplasma organisms are tough, evasive bacteria that lack a cell wall. They are the smallest free-living cells known to exist, and their vector is uncertain, though believed to be the same as Rickettsia, Messick said.

For years, suspected cases of FIA have been treated with antibiotics. Cats can become very anemic as red-blood-cell counts plummet. Even if symptoms disappear, the organism remains present. The prevalence of the disease -- lacking a diagnostic tool -- has been impossible to determine.

Messick and colleagues, including UI veterinary student Linda Marie Berent, initially developed a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay, then used it to see if it could detect H. felis in infected cats. "Dr. Berent has used the PCR assay to answer some questions related to whether cats remain carriers after infection and to prove that the clinical disease is caused by H. felis," Messick said.

The UI technique will help veterinarians better grasp the scope of FIA infection, she said. It also will help researchers find the carrier and identify risk factors associated with chronic infection. Once the genes involved in disease activation are isolated, she said, a vaccine could be made. She will discuss her lab's findings and the implications during a seminar May 25-28 at the 18th Annual American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum in Seattle.

"In the cat population, I believe the disease is a bigger problem that people recognize," she said. "It has been too difficult to diagnose. It's a really fascinating organism. It is very transient. It goes into hiding very easily. Where does it go?"

Long-term infections with mycoplasmas relate to rheumatic diseases such as arthritis, she said. "However, the long-term consequences of a cat living with H. felis, even if inactive, are unknown."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Researchers Identify Suspect Organism In Feline Infectious Anemia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075351.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. (2000, March 6). Researchers Identify Suspect Organism In Feline Infectious Anemia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075351.htm
University Of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign. "Researchers Identify Suspect Organism In Feline Infectious Anemia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000306075351.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Asteroid's Timing Was 'Colossal Bad Luck' For The Dinosaurs

Newsy (July 28, 2014) The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs struck at the worst time for them. A new study says that if it hit earlier or later, they might've survived. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins