Phylogenetic Analysis of “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis” Isolates from Pet Cats in the United Kingdom, Australia, and South Africa, with Analysis of Risk Factors for Infection

Willi et al. (2006). Journal of Clinical Microbiology 44 (12)
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Microbiology (medical)
ABSTRACTTwo hemotropic mycoplasmas have been recognized in cats,Mycoplasma haemofelisand “CandidatusMycoplasma haemominutum.” We recently described a third feline hemoplasma species, designated “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis,” in a Swiss cat with hemolytic anemia. This isolate induced anemia after experimental transmission to two specific-pathogen-free cats and analysis of the 16S rRNA gene revealed its close relationship to rodent hemotropic mycoplasmas. The agent was recently shown to be prevalent in Swiss pet cats. We sought to investigate the presence and clinical importance of “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis” infection in pet cats outside of Switzerland and to perform the molecular characterization of isolates from different countries. A “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis”-specific real-time PCR assay was applied to blood samples from 426 United Kingdom (UK), 147 Australian, and 69 South African pet cats. The 16S rRNA genes of isolates from different countries were sequenced and signalment and laboratory data for the cats were evaluated for associations with “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis” infection. Infections were detected in samples from UK, Australian, and South African pet cats. Infection was associated with the male gender, and “CandidatusMycoplasma haemominutum” andM. haemofeliscoinfection. Coinfected cats exhibited significantly lower packed cell volume (PCV) values than uninfected cats. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that some Australian and South African “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis” isolates branched away from the remaining isolates. In summary, “CandidatusMycoplasma turicensis” infection in pet cats exists over a wide geographical area and significantly decreased PCV values are observed in cats coinfected with other feline hemoplasmas.
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