Mycobacterial infections in cats (and dogs) – focusing on tuberculosis
12th March 2020, 8 pm
This talk will discuss the increasing recognition of these important potentially zoonotic and nosocomial infections in pet cats (and dogs) in the UK. Almost ~1% of all feline tissue biopsies sent for routine pathology in laboratories in the UK have histopathology changes consistent with mycobacterial infections; of these cases, ~35% have tuberculosis (TB); ~20% caused by Mycobacterium microti (the Vole bacillus) and ~15% caused by Mycobacterium bovis. Most cases of Tb and non-Tb mycobacterial infections are cutaneous and/or affect local lymph nodes, especially submandibular or popliteal. Making a diagnosis can be complex, typically involving Ziehl-Neelsen staining, specialist culture, PCR tests and/or IFNgamma release assay [IGRA]).We will review management options. While treating acat of TB may be contentious, >70% gain long-term remission following treatment with 3 drugs for 4-6 months. Before treatment consider potential risks:M. bovis is Notifiable in the UK; TBis potentially zoonotic, extent and severity of the cat’s clinical signs;exposed immunosuppressed people; expense and potential toxicity of treatment; and cat and owner compliance.