Chlamydiae are an important cause of acute and chronic conjunctivitis in cats. Until recently, only one organism was thought to infect cats, Chlamydophila felis (previously Chlamydia psittaci var. felis). Recently, other Chlamydia-like organisms belonging to the family Parachlamydiaceae, which comprises organisms that reside and proliferate within free-living amoeba, have been identified in cats with neutrophilic and eosinophilic conjunctivitis. The relative importance of these organisms and their amoebic hosts requires investigation. There is also weak evidence that chlamydiae may also be capable of causing reproductive tract disease and lameness in cats. Diagnosis of chlamydial conjunctivitis requires use of specialized culture techniques or the polymerase chain reaction. The antibiotic of choice to treat these infections is doxycycline; azithromycin is less effective. All cats in the household should be treated simultaneously. The zoonotic potential of these organisms appears low, but some precaution is warranted when handling affected cats.
- Upper respiratory tract disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas