Szalu?-Jordanow, O.; Golke, A.; Dzieci?tkowski, T.. A Fatal A/H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus Infection in a Cat in Poland. Microorganisms 2023, 11(9), 2263
A European Shorthair male cat, neutered, approximately 6 years of age, was presented to the veterinary clinic due to apathy and anorexia. The cat lived mostly outdoors and was fed raw chicken meat. After 3 days of diagnostic procedures and symptomatic treatment, respiratory distress and neurological signs developed and progressed into epileptic seizures, followed by respiratory and cardiac arrest within the next 3 days. Post-mortem examination revealed necrotic lesions in the liver, lungs, and intestines. Notably, the brain displayed perivascular infiltration of lymphocytes and histiocytes. Few foci of neuronal necrosis in the brain were also confirmed. Microscopic examination of the remaining internal organs was unremarkable. The A/H5N1 virus infection was confirmed using a one-step real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The disease caused severe neurological and respiratory signs, evidence of consolidations and the presence of numerous B lines, which were detected on lung ultrasound examination; the postmortem findings and detection of A/H5N1 viral RNA in multiple tissues indicated a generalized A/H5N1 virus infection. Moreover, a multidrug-resistant strain of Enterococcus faecium was isolated in pure culture from several internal organs. The source of infection could be exposure to infected birds or their excrements, as well as contaminated raw poultry meat but, in this case, the source of infection could not be identified.
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