Prevalence of Bartonella species, haemoplasmas and Toxoplasma gondii in cats in Scotland

J Feline Med Surg. 2011 Aug;13(8):553-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jfms.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 May 13.


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence rates for select infectious agents of cats presented to the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Whole blood, serum, and oral mucosal and nail bed swabs were collected. While Ehrlichia species, Anaplasma species or Rickettsia felis DNA were not amplified from any cat, 44.2% of the cats had evidence of infection or exposure to either a Bartonella species (15.3% were seropositive and 5.8% polymerase chain reaction (PCR) positive), a haemoplasma (28.6% PCR positive), and/or Toxoplasma gondii (19.2% seropositive). No Bartonella species DNA was amplified from the nail or oral mucosal swabs despite a 5.8% amplification rate from the blood samples. This finding likely reflects the absence of Ctenocephalides felis infection from our study population, as this organism is a key component for Bartonella species translocation in cats. The results from this study support the use of flea control products to lessen exposure of cats (and people) to Bartonella species and support discouraging the feeding of raw meat to cats and preventing them from hunting to lessen T gondii infection.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bartonella / isolation & purification
  • Bartonella Infections / blood
  • Bartonella Infections / epidemiology
  • Bartonella Infections / veterinary*
  • Cat Diseases / blood
  • Cat Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cat Diseases / microbiology*
  • Cats
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mouth Mucosa / microbiology
  • Mycoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Mycoplasma Infections / blood
  • Mycoplasma Infections / epidemiology
  • Mycoplasma Infections / veterinary*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Prospective Studies
  • Scotland / epidemiology
  • Toxoplasma / isolation & purification
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / blood
  • Toxoplasmosis, Animal / epidemiology*