Submitted to: Journal of the American Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 9, 1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Infection by the single celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii is widespread in humans and in livestock. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in congenitally infected children. Cats are the only hosts that can excrete the environmentally resistant stage of T. gondii (oocyst). Although infection is common in cats, they rarely have clinical signs due to toxoplasmosis and most total cases are diagnosed postmortem. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the Louisiana State University report pneumonia in an adult cat due to toxoplasmosis confirmed antemortem. The clinicopathologic features discussed will be of interest to veterinarians.
Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites were found in percutaneous fine-needle lung aspirate of a 3 year old male cat that developed pneumonia. The cat had bilateral exudative retinal lesions. The cat had high titer antibodies to T. gondii (>10,000) in the agglutination test but no Sabin-Feldman dye test antibodies and no ELISA-IgM antibodies. This case is unusual because the diagnosis was made antemortem, and the cat had no dye test antibodies.