An evaluation of the clinical, cytological, infectious and histopathological features of feline acne

Vet Dermatol. 2006 Apr;17(2):134-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3164.2006.00507.x.


Clinical, cytological, microbial and histopathological features of feline acne were investigated in 22 cats referred or volunteered to a veterinary dermatology practice in the south-west region of the USA. For comparison, same parameters were evaluated in five unaffected pet cats. Additionally, all cats were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the presence of feline calicivirus (FCV) and feline herpes virus (FHV-1) in acne lesions. The age of onset of acne in affected cats ranged from 6 months to 14 years with a median of 4 years. The most common dermatologic lesions were comedones (73%), alopecia (68%), crusts (55%), papules (45%) and erythema (41%). Pruritus was reported in 35% of the affected cats. Cytological evidence of Malassezia pachydermatitis was present on 4/22 (18%) of affected cats. Microsporum canis was isolated from a single affected cat. Bacteria were isolated from 10 of the 22 (45%) affected cats; coagulase-positive staphylococci and alpha-haemolytic streptococci were most common. Histopathological features included lymphoplasmacytic periductal inflammation (86%), sebaceous gland duct dilatation (73%), follicular keratosis with plugging and dilatation (59%), epitrichial gland occlusion and dilatation (32%), folliculitis (27%), pyogranulomatous sebaceous adenitis (23%) and furunculosis (23%). In one affected cat from a household with five cats, simultaneously having feline acne, FCV antigen was detected in the biopsy of the chin by IHC. Chin tissue samples from all other affected cats, as well as the five healthy cats, were negative by IHC for FCV and FHV-1 antigens.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / microbiology
  • Acne Vulgaris / veterinary*
  • Animals
  • Calicivirus, Feline / isolation & purification
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cat Diseases / pathology
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Herpesviridae / isolation & purification
  • Immunohistochemistry / veterinary
  • Malassezia / isolation & purification
  • Male
  • Microsporum / isolation & purification
  • Southwestern United States / epidemiology