Ali McKay -- Infectious Diseases in Nicaraguan Cats


The purpose of this research was to evaluate the prevalence of several feline infectious diseases on a somewhat closed population of cats on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, specifically the town of Merida 


21 domestic shorthair cats were tested using Idexx Snap test and ELISA based immunoassay for the two most common feline retroviruses, Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). 14 of these cats were also tested for Toxoplasma gondii via IgG and IgM immunoflurescent antibody assay (IFA) at Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory


One of these 21 cats tested positive for both retroviruses on an Idexx Snap test, an ELISA based immunoassay.  A second cat was also seropositive for FeLV.  These results indicate that these retroviruses are present in the cat community on the island; however, more cats need to be tested to determine the true prevalence of these viruses.

9/14 cats also tested for T. gondii  had significant IgG titers indicating past exposure to the protozoan parasite.  No cats had active infections (all IgM titers negative).

Additionally 15/21 cats were noted to be anemic (PCV < 30%), but the anemia was not further characterized.  Differentials include anemia of chronic disease, hookworm infestation (noted in 1/7 feline fecal samples collected), and iron deficiency anemia, as these cats are not consuming a balanced commercial