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Vet Microbiol. 1996 Jan;48(1-2):19-27.

Studies on natural transmission of Bordetella bronchiseptica in cats.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Liverpool, UK.


Two pregnant specific-pathogen-free (SPF) cats, from a colony endemically infected with Bordetella bronchiseptica, were housed under barrier conditions in the latter stages of pregnancy in order to study the possible transmission of the organism to their kittens. Both queens had antibody titres to Bordetella bronchiseptica of 1 in 320 at the start of the experiment but did not shed Bordetella bronchiseptica until 9 days and 6 weeks after parturition, respectively. Five of the nine kittens had detectable maternally-derived-antibody to Bordetella bronchiseptica which declined to < or = 1 in 40 by two weeks of age. Kittens were weaned at 12 weeks of age. No Bordetella bronchiseptica was isolated from any of the kittens and none seroconverted over this time. At 15 1/2 weeks of age, half of each litter were housed separately and inoculated intra-nasally with 10(8) colony-forming-units B. bronchiseptica. Mild signs of upper respiratory tract disease were seen and the organism was isolated for 19 weeks following inoculation when the experiment ended. Seroconversion occurred at 4 weeks postinoculation. Oral treatment of two clinically-recovered kittens with doxycycline once a day did not eliminate shedding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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