Cat Carrier Of an Infectious Disease

Any animal including the human animal can be a carrier of infectious disease.  In relation to the domestic cat a carrier of an infectious disease is a cat that does not show clinical signs of the disease but whose body harbours the disease-producing organism and may continue to excrete it. Carrier cats a very important in the study, science and transmission and spread of infectious diseases in cats.

An example of a disease that can be carried by cat were the cat has no apparent symptoms (asymptomatic) is toxoplasmosis but more important diseases feline leukaemia virus disease complex can also be carried asymptomatically. Feline intestinal toxoplasmosis is usually asymptomatic.

In multi-cat households and in catteries there maybe 20 to 30% of cats showing the presence of feline leukaemia virus in the blood.

Following exposure to the virus cats respond in different ways and about 5 to 10% of cats develop a latent infection. They produce virus-neutralising antibodies which eliminates the virus from the blood and saliva but does not extinguish the virus completely as it persists in the bone marrow. Sometimes these cats go on to extinguish the virus completely while for other cats the disease may become activated when the cat is stressed or has another illness.

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