Hepatozoon species infection in domestic cats: A retrospective study

Gad Baneth*, Itamar Aroch, Nitsan Tal, Shimon Harrus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Hepatozoon sp. is a protozoan parasite of peripheral blood neutrophils in cats. Feline hepatozoonosis has been reported infrequently and little is known about the pathogenesis of this infection. In order to further clarify clinicopathological characteristics of hepatozoonosis in domestic cats, a retrospecitve study of hepatozoonosis in cats admitted during 1989-1995 to the Hebrew University School of Veterinary Medicine was conducted. The study population comprised all the cats whose medical records included a complete blood count with a microscopical examination of a blood smear during this 7-year period (n=1229). Hepatozoon gametocytes were identified in seven cats (0.57%) ranging from 1 to 6 years of age. Infected cats were mostly males (6/7) of mixed breed (5/7) with a variety of complaints and clinical signs. The clinicopathological findings included increased activities of serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) (5/6) and creatine kinase (CK) (5/6). The elevated enzymes detected in cats with hepatozoonosis are suggestive of muscular damage. Sixty-seven percent (4/6) of the cats with hepatozoonosis which were tested for a retroviral disease were found infected either in FIV or FELV. In addition, 2/7 cats were co-infected with Hemobartonella felis. In conclusion, parasitemia with Hepatozoon sp. is a rare finding in cats from Israel. The over-representation of cats with a retroviral disease among the cats with hepatozoonosis indicates a possible association between immunosupression and the development of Hepatozoon infection. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)123-133
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1998


  • Cat
  • FELV
  • FIV
  • Hemobartonella felis
  • Hepatozoon sp.


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