Molecular detection of "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" in a lion (Panthera leo) from a brazilian zoological garden

Guimaraes et al. (2007). Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 49 (3)
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General Medicine Infectious Diseases
Although Mycoplasma haemofelis and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" infections have been reported in wild cats from United States, their presence among native and captive wild cats in Brazil is still unknown. A 12 year old healthy male lion (Panthera leo) from the Zoological Garden of Curitiba, Brazil was anesthetized for transportation and dental evaluation. A blood sample was obtained for a complete blood cell count (CBC) and PCR analysis. DNA was extracted and fragments of Mycoplasma haemofelis and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" 16S ribosomal RNA gene were amplified in PCR assays. CBC results were within reference intervals. A weak band of 192 pb for "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" was observed, and no band was amplified from Mycoplasma haemofelis reaction. A weak PCR band associated with normal CBC results and without visible parasitemia or clinical signs may suggest a chronic subclinical infection with "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum". The lack of clinical signs may also represent the low pathogenicity of this organism; however, it is noteworthy that immune suppression caused by management and/or corticoids treatment may induce parasitemia and anemia in this animal. This detection suggests further studies in captive wild cats in Brazilian Zoological Gardens.
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