Volume 82, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The relative role of transmission of infection from cats to humans appears to have recently increased in certain areas. Large-scale screening of oocyst shedding in cats cannot rely on microscopy because oocyst identification lacks sensitivity and specificity, or on bioassays, which require test animals and weeks before examination. We compared a sensitive and species-specific coprologic–polymerase chain reaction (copro-PCR) for detection of infected cats with microscopy and a bioassay. In experimentally infected cats followed over time, microscopy was positive occasionally, and positive copro-PCR and bioassay results were obtained continuously from days 2 to 24 post-infection. The copro-PCR is at least as sensitive and specific as the bioassay and is capable of detecting infective oocysts during cat infection. Therefore, this procedure can be used as the new gold standard for determining potential cat infectivity. Its technologic advantages over the bioassay make it superior for large-scale screening of cats.


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  • Received : 21 Oct 2009
  • Accepted : 23 Dec 2009
  • Published online : 05 May 2010

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