Molecular detection of Hepatozoon spp. in domestic cats of Kerala
P. Vincy, P. V. Tresamol, K. Justin Davis, Asha Rajagopal and K. Vijayakumar
Journal of Veterinary and Animal Sciences.2023.54(1):247-251
Received: 02.09.2022 Accepted: 05.12.2022 Published online: 31.03.2023
Vector-borne diseases are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in domestic cat population and hepatozoonosis is one such infection. Incidence of hepatozoonosis has been described in a variety of animal species but information on cats is scarce. To investigate the occurrence of this pathogen in domestic cats, blood samples were collected from domestic cats from three districts of Kerala (Thrissur, Kannur and Wayanad). Field-stained blood smears were examined to detect the presence of gamonts of Hepatozoon spp. and the samples were subjected to molecular analysis by PCR amplification. Out of 122 blood samples screened, none of the sample revealed the presence of gamonts of Hepatozoon on microscopic examination. Polymerase chain reaction targeting 18S rRNA gene of Hepatozoon spp. demonstrated seven positive cases with a prevalence of 5.74 per cent. Results of this study indicate that hepatozoonosis is established within the domestic cats in Kerala and warrant the adoption of control measures.
Keywords: Vector-borne diseases, hepatozoonosis, molecular analysis