- The role of mycoplasmas in feline respiratory disease is not clear.
- Several species have been isolated from cats, the most common being Mycoplasma felis and M. gatae. Infection is common both in colony cats and household pets, and the organisms have been isolated from both diseased and healthy cats.
- M. gatae is probably a normal commensal of the conjunctivae and upper respiratory tract of cats and probably has little pathogenic potential for these sites.
- A pathogenic role has been suggested for M. felis in conjunctivitis and upper respiratory disease. Undoubtedly the organism can be important as a secondary pathogen, but evidence for its role as a primary pathogen is more equivocal. A higher isolation rate has been found for M. felis in some studies on cats with conjunctivitis and respiratory disease compared with normal cats, and some experimental studies have been done. Most of these studies are difficult to interpret however, as they have not been carried out in specific-pathogen-free cats and therefore other pathogens may have been involved.
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