, Volume 112, Issue 6, pp 2227-2235
Date: 24 Mar 2013

A new species of Tritrichomonas (Sarcomastigophora: Trichomonida) from the domestic cat (Felis catus )

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Abstract

Feline trichomoniasis is an intestinal disease in cats resulting in chronic diarrhea, flatulence, tenesmus, and fecal incontinence. Bovine trichomoniasis is a sexually transmitted disease of cattle infecting the reproductive tract of cows causing pyometra and possible mid- to late-term abortions. The causative agent for both diseases has been reported to be the flagellated protozoan, Tritrichomonas foetus. However, several published reports support significant biological differences between T. foetus isolated from bovines and felines. In the present study, we describe Tritrichomonas blagburni n.sp. from the domestic cat (Felis catus) as the causative agent of feline intestinal trichomoniasis. We support our proposal based on results of experimental cross-infection studies between cats and cattle using both feline and bovine isolates of the parasite, differences in pathogenicity between the two parasites for the respective host species, and molecular gene sequencing differences between parasites obtained from domestic cats and parasites obtained from cattle.