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J Small Anim Pract. 1999 Jan;40(1):20-4.

Feline granulocytic ehrlichiosis--a report of a new clinical entity and characterisation of the infectious agent.

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Department of Clinical Microbiology, Kalmar County Hospital, Sweden.


A 14-month-old shorthaired cat was presented to the Animal Hospital in Skara, Sweden, with a two-day history of lethargy, anorexia and tachypnoea. Clinical examination and laboratory investigations revealed fever, dehydration, tick infestation, neutrophilia with left shift, lymphopenia, hyperglycaemia and intracytoplasmic neutrophilic Ehrlichia inclusions. After treatment with intravenous doxycycline and lactated Ringer's solution the temperature returned to normal. Oral treatment with doxycycline continued for 20 days. The ehrlichiosis diagnosis was confirmed by serology, polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. No relapse was observed during the eight-month follow-up period. The granulocytotropic Ehrlichia strain found in the cat was later characterised by analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence which showed 100 per cent identity to DNA sequences found in Swedish canine and equine granulocytotropic Ehrlichia strains. This is, to the best of the authors' knowledge, the first reported case of granulocytic ehrlichiosis in a cat.

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