Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

The prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in free roaming cats in Worcester County, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Background: Serosurveys of cats for exposure to or infection with leptospires have been published from other geographic areas, but none for cats in the United States in the past 4 decades. Hypothesis/Objectives: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence of leptospiral antibodies in a population of free roaming cats in Worcester County, (central) Massachusetts. Animals: Sixty-three free roaming cats presenting to a trap-neuter-return (TNR) program. Methods: Prospective study. Serum was collected from 63 free roaming cats presented to a university associated TNR. Microagglutination titers to Leptospira interrogans serovars Autumnalis, Hardjo, Bratislava, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Canicola, Pomona, and L. kirshneri Grippotyphosa were determined. Results: A total of 3 of 63 cats (4.8%) had a titer of 1:100 or greater to one or more serovars, with Autumnalis being the most common. None of the cats were seropositive to Hardjo, Grippotyphosa, or Canicola. Conclusions and clinical importance: These results are consistent with previously published seroprevalence rates in feral cats. Additional studies are required to determine the role of leptosporosis in clinical disease in the domestic cat.