Feline hemotropic mycoplasmosis (feline hemobartonellosis)

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16 Scopus citations


Hemotropic mycoplasmas represent an important cause of anemia in cats worldwide. Previously known as Haemobartonella species, sequencing of the 16S rRNA genes of these organisms has led to their reclassification as mycoplasmas. Two species have been identified in cats, M haemofelis and "Candidatus M haemominutum." The latter organism alone has not been associated with disease in naturally infected cats but may cause anemia in FeLV-infected cats and accelerate development of FeLV-induced myeloproliferative disease. The mode of transmission of these organisms remains enigmatic. Nevertheless, development of sensitive DNA-based tests for these unculturable organisms has improved the understanding of the epidemiology and pathogenesis of FHM. Cats with clinical signs and laboratory abnormalities consistent with FHM should be treated with doxycycline; enrofloxacin may represent an effective alternative. Transfusion with packed red blood cells after cross-matching may be required for severely anemia cats, and addition of prednisone may be required if the diagnosis of FHM is uncertain, or response to antimicrobials alone is insufficient. Affected cats should be tested for FeLV, the most common concurrent infection in cats with FHM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)773-789
Number of pages17
JournalVeterinary Clinics of North America - Small Animal Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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