Atlas of livestock parasites
digitized collection of microscopical preparations

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Tritrichomonas foetus



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Protozoa (fagellate)

The species identifcation of these organisms in dogs and cats is       currently under investigation. Recently, trichomonad organisms associated with chronic diarrhea in cats were identifed as genetically identical to Tritrichomonas foetus, the cause of bovine venereal     trichomonosis.               

Distribution: Probably worldwide.

Host: Large intestine of cats and dogs.         

Life Cycle: Very little is known about transmission. Infection is probably by direct contact since no environmentally resistant cyst stage is known to occur.       

Diagnosis: The presence of trophozoites can be detected in direct saline smears of fresh feces. Flotation solutions will destroy trophozoites. Trichomonad organisms can be confused  with Giardia but have a rippling, undulating membrane and lack the faces like appearance of Giardia trophozoites.

For detection of Tritrichomonas foetus, a more reliable method of detection is used the InPouch™ TF-Feline culture system, similar to the method used for culturing T. foetus infections in cattle. Feline feces (0.1 g or less) is added to the  system and cultured at 25°C for up to 11 days. A commercial PCR test is also available.       

Size: 6–11 × 3–4 µm      

Clinical features: Cases of chronic diarrhea in cats have been associated with feline T. foetus infection. The most trichomonad infections are generally considered to be of limited  pathogenicity. 


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