Document Type : Clinical Report


1 Bijan Esmaeilnejad Associate Professor in Veterinary Parasitology Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Urmia University Sero Road, Nazloo, Urmia West Azarbaijan, Iran Ph: +98 (441) 297 2654 Fax: +98 (441) 297 1926

2 Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Private Veterinary Practitioner, Tehran, Iran; DVM

4 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


A 6-year-old male domestic short-hair cat (Felis catus) presented with weakness, anorexia, fever, icterus, a painful abdomen, ruffled hair and a tick infestation, and it had no prior surgery. Laboratory analysis revealed left-shifted neutrophils, thrombocytopenia, and decrease in albumin content, high serum bilirubin concentration as well as activities of hepatic enzymes including alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST). Azotemia, and increased serum levels of creatinine and urea were also recorded. In Giemsa-stained blood smear, Hepatozoon gamonts were observed within neutrophil granulocytes. Species-specific PCR assay was used to amplify an approximately 590 bp fragment of 18S rRNA gene and confirmed Hepatozoon felis infection. The cat was treated with imidocarb dipropionate and doxycycline and recovered completely. Six-month follow-up showed no recurrence. This study reveals the presence of H. felis in Iran and it should be considered in differential diagnosis in febril and icteric cats. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first description of H. felis infection in a cat in Iran.


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