Chronic rhinosinusitis in cats – what organisms are involved?

Objective–To determine detection rates for feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), Mycoplasma spp, fungi, and bacteria in flush samples and biopsy specimens from the nasal cavities of cats with and without chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).

Design–Prospective study.

Animals–10 CRS-affected cats and 7 cats without signs of respiratory tract disease.

Procedures–Nasal flush samples and biopsy specimens were collected from all cats for bacterial (aerobic and anaerobic), fungal, and mycoplasmal cultures; additional biopsy specimens were collected for virus isolation and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay (to detect FHV-1 DNA).

Results–Aerobic bacteria were detected in flush samples from 5 of 7 control cats; culture of flush samples from CRS-affected cats yielded aerobic bacteria (9/10 cats), anaerobic bacteria (3/10), and Mycoplasma spp (2/10). No fungal organisms were isolated from any cat. Potential pathogens were isolated significantly more often from CRS-affected cats than from control cats. Bacterial culture of biopsy specimens yielded aerobic bacteria (2/7 control cats and 4/10 CRS-affected cats) and anaerobic bacteria (2/10 CRS-affected cats). Although FHV-1 was not detected in nasal biopsy specimens from control or CRS-affected cats, FHV-1 DNA was detected via PCR assay in specimens from 4 of 7 control cats and 3 of 10 CRS-affected cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance–Compared with findings in control cats, anaerobic bacteria, Mycoplasma spp, and a variety of potentially pathogenic organisms were detected more commonly in samples from cats with CRS. In both groups, FHV-1 was detected via PCR assay as a nonviable organism or in noncultivable amounts. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:579–585)

Please click here to be directed to the study in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association.