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Cytauxzoon felis-like in the Moutain Lion (Puma concolor): A Case Report

Author(s): Juliano Raquel Soares | Souza Alda Izabel | Netto, Nilton T?rcio | Scheide Renata | Scofield Alessandra

Journal: Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
ISSN 1680-5593

Volume: 3;
Issue: 12;
Start page: 820;
Date: 2004;
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The Laboratory of Clinical Pathology of UNIDERP performs routine examinations, when requested, of animals from the Center for Wild Animal Rehabilitation (CRAS) of Campo Grande, MS, Brazil. During one of these routine procedures, erythrocytic parasites identified as Cytauxzoon felis-like were detected in blood smears obtained from a mountain lion (Puma concolor) with parasitemia being 20%. No clinical alterations or infestation with ticks were observed in this animal, and hematological and serum biochemical exams showed only slight alterations. Blood and serum were collected three months later from six mountain lions housed at the CRAS and another animal tested positive for parasites in blood smears with parasitemia of 10%, without showing any clinical, hematological or blood biochemical changes characteristic of cytauxzoonosis. This animal presented parasitemia and laboratory results slightly lower than those observed in the previous animal. Two domestic cats (Felis catus) were inoculated, but the animals did not show any clinical signs of cytauxzoonosis. The identification of this blood-borne parasite in wild felines maintained in captivity in the absence of pathogenic manifestations suggests that the mountain lion acts as a natural host for C. felis- like, or that this strain is less pathogenic. Since this is the first report of cytauxzoonosis in Puma concolor in Brazil, further epidemiological studies are necessary to determine the true impact of infection of wild felines with this protozoan.
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