One of the important risk factors in all surgery and other medical treatments are subclinical infections by Hemobartonella felis. So, we started to determine prevalence of Hemobartonella felis in the Esfahan province.
The present case-control study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Hemobartonella felis, study the role of its risk factors and compare the different diagnostic tests.
In order to achieve these goals, blood direct smear and single PCR assay were performed on blood samples of 90 cats (45 healthy control and 45 sick) in Esfahan, Iran. In addition, age, sex, breed, outdoor access, castration and density of living place were recorded in each group, and hematologic study was performed on all blood samples.
A total of 50% and 72.22% of cats were H. felis positive in blood direct smear and PCR, respectively. The results showed significant difference between control and case groups regarding the quantitative variables including fever and dehydration in blood direct smear, and tachycardia, icterus, fever and dehydration in PCR (p < 0.05). Castration, sex, breed, access to outside (lifestyle) and density of cat population were not significantly effective on tests results.
The results indicate that the interactive effects of various factors (risk factors of infection) on each other can diminish the individual specific effect of each one of them.