Chlamydophila felis is a Gram-negative intracellular bacterium that causes conjunctival infections in cats. Cases of conjunctivitis in immunocompromised patients have also been reported.
Sample: Conjuctival swab, Oropharyngeal swab
Modes of transmission
Transmission requires close contact between cats. Ocular secretions are the most important bodily fluid for infection. Conjunctival shedding generally ceases at around 60 days after infection.
The incubation period is generally 2-5 days. Conjunctivitis is usually bilateral. Hyperemia and blepharospasm can occur. Ocular discharges are initially watery and subsequently become mucoid or mucopurulent. Chemosis of the conjunctiva is a characteristic feature of chlamydiosis. Respiratory signs are generally minimal. Transient fever, inappetence and weight loss may be seen shortly after infection, although most cats remain well and continue to eat.
Chlamydophila felis infection in cats can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
Vaccines are effective in protecting against disease resulting from Chlamydophila felis infection, but not against infection itself. Since close contact is necessary for transmission single housing and routine hygiene measures should suffice to avoid cross-infection.
The infection is most common in multi-cat environments, particularly breeding catteries. Chlamydophila felis is isolated from up to 30% of cats affected with conjunctivitis. Serological surveys have shown that 10% or more unvaccinated household cats have antibodies against Chlamydophila felis.
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