A survey of feline trichomonosis suggests a low incidence of Tritrichomonas blagburni among cats in the Czech Republic
Tritrichomonas blagburni (previously called T. foetus) has been implicated as an aetiological agent of long-term large-bowel diarrhoea in cats in many countries worldwide. The aim of this study was to determine the presence of, and risk factors for T. blagburni among a cohort of cats living in different conditions in the Czech Republic. Samples were collected from 170 cats living in different environments. The InPouch™ TF-Feline medium method was used for diagnosis of feline trichomonosis. A
... trichomonosis. A single case (0.6%) with motile trichomonads identified as Pentatrichomonas hominis was found in a cat from a multi-cat household. Our study suggests that trichomonads and in particular, T. blagburni, infection may be much less common in the Czech Republic than in neighbouring countries, despite the inclusion of cats that were likely to be from higher-risk groups. A review of studies of the association of trichomonads and feline diarrhoea carried out in different countries revealed variation in the frequency of trichomonads detected. Different combinations of PCR or culture methods for screening or confirmation have been utilised, with or without species differentiation; however, this could not solely account for the variation in the occurrence between countries. From those studies where differentiation was performed, we calculated from the combined studies that T. blagburni occurred in six cats without diarrhoea (1.1%) and 47 cases with diarrhoea (5%). This finding supports an association with diarrhoea as well as the occurrence of asymptomatic cases. We note that in many studies, including our own, the occurrence of T. blagburni may well be underestimated and suggest that future studies use a combination of PCR screening of both faeces and faecal cultures, with differentiation of trichomonad species.