Experimental infection of cats (Felis catus) with Tritrichomonas foetus isolated from cattle

Heather D. Stockdale, A. Ray Dillon, Joseph C. Newton, Richard C. Bird, Robert Bondurant, Patricia Deinnocentes, Sharron Barney, Jamie Bulter, Tracey Land, Jennifer A. Spencer, David S. Lindsay, Byron L. Blagburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Tritrichomonas foetus is recognized as the causative agent of venereal trichomoniasis in cattle. It is characterized by embryonic and early fetal death and post-coital pyometra, and feline trichomoniasis, manifest as chronic, large bowel diarrhea. Many of the infected cats are less than 2 years old and specific routes of transmission remain unknown. We recently demonstrated that feline isolates of T. foetus can successfully infect heifers, resulting in pathologic changes similar, but not identical to those previously reported as representative of bovine trichomoniasis. In this study, we experimentally infected six cats less than 1 year of age with a bovine (D-1) isolate of T. foetus and one cat with a feline (AUTf-1) isolate of T. foetus. Within 2 weeks, the cat infected with the feline (AUTf-1) isolate was culture positive for trichomonads in weekly fecal samples. At the end of 5 weeks, only one cat infected with the bovine (D-1) isolate was fecal culture positive for trichomonads. At necropsy, the intestine of each cat was removed and divided into five sections (ileum, cecum, anterior, medial and posterior colon). Contents from each section were collected and cultured. The cat infected with the feline (AUTf-1) isolate was culture positive in the ileum, cecum, medial and posterior colon. Two cats infected with the bovine (D-1) isolate were culture positive in the cecum only. Additionally, each intestinal section was submitted to a pathologist for histopathological examination. The combined results indicate that there are demonstrable differences between the feline (AUTf-1) and bovine (D-1) isolates regarding their infectivity in cats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-161
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 14 2008


  • Experimental infection
  • Feline trichomoniasis
  • Tritrichomonas foetus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)


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