Diseases Transmitted by Cats.

Microbiol Spectr. October 2015 V.3 N.5

Goldstein EJC1, Abrahamian FM2.


Humans and cats have shared a close relationship since ancient times. Millions of cats are kept as household pets, and 34% of households have cats.

There are numerous diseases that may be transmitted from cats to humans.

General modes of transmission, with some overlapping features, can occur through inhalation (e.g., bordetellosis); vector-borne spread (e.g., ehrlichiosis); fecal-oral route (e.g., campylobacteriosis); bite, scratch, or puncture (e.g., rabies); soil-borne spread (e.g., histoplasmosis); and direct contact (e.g., scabies).

It is also likely that the domestic cat can potentially act as a reservoir for many other zoonoses that are not yet recognized.

The microbiology of cat bite wound infections in humans is often polymicrobial with a broad mixture of aerobic (e.g., Pasteurella, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus) and anaerobic (e.g., Fusobacterium, Porphyromonas, Bacteroides) microorganisms.

Bacteria recovered from infected cat bite wounds are most often reflective of the oral flora of the cat, which can also be influenced by the microbiome of their ingested prey and other foods.

Bacteria may also originate from the victim’s own skin or the physical environment at the time of injury.




November 19, 2018 at 11:23 am

Pet-Related Infections.

Am Fam Physician. November 15, 2016 V.94 N.10 P.794-802.

Day MJ1.


Physicians and veterinarians have many opportunities to partner in promoting the well-being of people and their pets, especially by addressing zoonotic diseases that may be transmitted between a pet and a human family member.

Common cutaneous pet-acquired zoonoses are dermatophytosis (ringworm) and sarcoptic mange (scabies), which are both readily treated.

Toxoplasmosis can be acquired from exposure to cat feces, but appropriate hygienic measures can minimize the risk to pregnant women.

Persons who work with animals are at increased risk of acquiring bartonellosis (e.g., cat-scratch disease); control of cat fleas is essential to minimize the risk of these infections.

People and their pets share a range of tick-borne diseases, and exposure risk can be minimized with use of tick repellent, prompt tick removal, and appropriate tick control measures for pets.

Pets such as reptiles, amphibians, and backyard poultry pose a risk of transmitting Salmonella species and are becoming more popular.

Personal hygiene after interacting with these pets is crucial to prevent Salmonella infections.

Leptospirosis is more often acquired from wildlife than infected dogs, but at-risk dogs can be protected with vaccination.

The clinical history in the primary care office should routinely include questions about pets and occupational or other exposure to pet animals.

Control and prevention of zoonoses are best achieved by enhancing communication between physicians and veterinarians to ensure patients know the risks of and how to prevent zoonoses in themselves, their pets, and other people.



November 19, 2018 at 11:20 am

Diseases Transmitted by Less Common House Pets.

Microbiol Spectr. December 2015 V.3 N6

Chomel BB1.


Beside dogs and cats, the most common pets worldwide, an increasing number of pocket pets and exotic pets are making their way to more and more households, especially in North America and Europe.

Although many of these animals make appropriate pets, they also can be a source of many zoonotic diseases, especially in young children and immunocompromised individuals.

Some of these diseases can be life threatening, such as rabies, rat bite fever, and plague.

Some others are quite common, because of the frequency of the pathogens harbored by these species, such as salmonellosis in reptiles and amphibians.

Appropriate knowledge of the zoonotic agents carried by these “new” pet species is strongly recommended prior to acquiring pocket or exotic pets.

Furthermore, adopting wildlife as pets is strongly discouraged, because it is always a risky action that can lead to major health issues.



November 19, 2018 at 11:17 am


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