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Tritrichomonas foetus

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Quantitative analysis of the load of Tritrichomonas foetus , responsible for digestive troubles in kittens.
Tritrichomonas foetus is a flagellate protozoan, responsible for chronic large bowel diarrhoea. Coinfection with Giardia is possible. Tritrichomonas foetus is often misdiagnosed as Giardia by microscopic examination.

Reasons for testing

- Feline trichomonosis diagnostics in cats with digestive disorders
- Quantitative analysis of the load for status determination of asymptomatic carriers
- Treatment monitoring (shedding monitoring)

Test characteristics

- Real-time PCR, quantitative PCR
- Limit of detection
- Quantitative analysis of the protozoan load

Diagnostic samples

  • Rectal swab (dry swab without any preservative medium)
  • As shedding can be intermittent especially in asymptomatic carriers, a false negative result can be obtained on a unique sample. In order to get a reliable diagnostics, Scanelis recommends:
    • either, at least 3 consecutive analyses (if the first two analyses are negative) on samples collected one week appart,
    • either a unique analysis on a pool of 3 to 5 rectal swabs taken on two days intervals and stored in a fridge (3-5 samples sent together in a same package). In this option the diagnostics is delayed but covers a longer period in order to increase the chance for the samples to be collected during a shedding period.

Result interpretation

- Negative result: absence of the protozoan or quantity lower than the limit of detection. A negative result does not exclude an asymptomatic carrier status because the rectal shedding of T. foetus is intermittent. Thus, serial testing or testing a pool of samples taken few days appart is necessary to confirm the absence of Tritrichomonas foetus (see protocol in chapter Diagnostic samples)
- Positive result: presence of the protozoan in the sample(s). Positive results should be interpreted in the clinical setting and the epidemiological context and depending on the duration of the clinical signs.
As the Scanelis T. foetus PCR is a quantitative assay, it is interesting for a treatment monitoring, in order to assess the efficacy (if the shedded load is decreased).

Do not hesitate to contact us for sample collecting advice or help in interpreting the results.