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Chlamydia is a contagious disease caused by chlamydia, obligate intracellular parasites, which have a rigid cell wall, but in structure occupy a certain intermediate position between bacteria and viruses. In general, according to M.V. Makeeva (2001), carriage of chlamydia is detected in approximately 70% of cats. According to the new classification of chlamydia (Yamnikova S.S., Fedyakina I.T., Nepoklonova I.V., 2000), the family Chlamydiaceae is represented by 2 genera: Chlamydia and Chlamydohila. C.trachomatis and 3 more new species belong to the genus Chlamydia, while the genus Chlamydophila includes C. pneumoniae, C. precorum, and C. psittaci. The latter species includes various biovars of C. abortus, C. caviae and C. felis.
The infection caused most often by C. felis (these chlamydia are generally species-specific for domestic and wild cats) usually occurs as keratoconjunctivitis or, less commonly, as a systemic disease, such as pneumonia. The reason for the occurrence of the infectious process is considered to be the suppression of the immune response according to the T-cell type (I.L. Obukhov, 1994). First of all, chlamydia affects the mucous membrane of the eyes, respiratory system, gastrointestinal tract, reproductive organs (induction of miscarriages is possible). In addition, cats infected with sexually transmitted chlamydia during their first pregnancy may remain infertile. The disease is transmitted by airborne droplets, contact and sexual contact. A generalized infection can lead to the death of a cat. When infecting newborn kittens, a fatal outcome is often observed.
Infection carriers are most often small rodents (field mice, rats), birds, and stray cats. The incubation period is 5-15 days.
It should be remembered that chlamydia is a zooanthroponic disease. This means that chlamydia can be transmitted from sick animals to people whose disease occurs in the form of catarrh of the upper respiratory tract and typical pneumonia, causing eye, respiratory or intestinal diseases. Known, for example, cases of diseases of cats owners with benign lymphoreticulosis (cat scratch disease). However, the etiological role of chlamydia in this disease has not been conclusively proved, since the recently described types of rickettsia and gram-negative bacteria are also isolated from patients. You can also get SARS, conjunctivitis and endocarditis. Chlamydia infection in some cases can lead to infertility in women.
Symptoms In a sick cat, body temperature rises, discharge from the eyes and nose is observed, the animal coughs and sneezes.
Breathing becomes heavy, wheezing is heard. If untreated, a young cat may die in a day from pulmonary edema. In adult cats, the disease can also occur in the form of keratoconjunctivitis (in this case, as a rule, one eye is first affected, and after a few days the second), however, the infection is chronic and often ends in death.
A mucopurulent secretion is released from the nose, the cat sneezes and coughs, breathing becomes heavy, hoarse. But more often the disease is tolerated relatively easily: only keratoconjunctivitis and catarrh of the upper respiratory tract are noted.
At the slightest symptoms of the disease, consult a veterinarian. Diagnosis can be carried out in the veterinary clinic by the cultural method, immunofluorescence methods, serological analyzes or using electron microscopy. The most reliable diagnostic method is polymerase chain reaction.
Treatment. Effective therapy with tetracycline antibiotics that suppress enzymes involved in the synthesis of DNA and Chlamydia protein (I.L. Obukhov, 2001), tylosin, erythromycin are also effective. However, it should be remembered that the independent use of antibiotics often leads to the development of chlamydia resistance to them, so treatment should be carried out by a specialist. Good results were obtained when used in conjunction with antibiotics, maxidin, immunofan, fosprenil, gamavit (aminovit-GM), lactobifid, as well as interferon preparations in various combinations. According to M.M. Rakhmaninova et al. (1999) Vitafel preparations (purified immunoglobulins or serum) are effective for the treatment and prevention. To stimulate natural resistance, it is useful to use lactoferon, tsamax with spirulina or with seaweed. To restore normal microflora - lactobifid. In case of conjunctivitis caused by chlamydia, it is indicated to instill maxidine (eye drops), Iris, neoconjunctivitis or conjunctivitis in the eyes.
Prevention Effective vaccine "ChlamyCon" against chlamydia of cats and dogs, developed at VGNKI.
Phytotherapy. Immunostimulatory collection: Manchurian aralia (roots) 15 g, safflower levze 15 g, hawthorn (fruits) 15 g, cinnamon rose hips (fruits) 15, medicinal calendula (flowers) 10, trident series (grass) 10 g, chokeberry (fruits) 10 g, large plantain (leaves) 10 g.
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