The two most common haemotropic Mycoplasma of cats, Mycoplasma haemofelis and ‘ Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum’ have been identified using molecular techniques in all continents, except Antarctica. We report the first molecular characterization in South America of a dual infection with M haemofelis and ‘ Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum’ in three domestic cats. The 16S ribosomal RNA gene was amplified in three anaemic cats in which haemoplasma organisms were seen attached to the erythrocytes in the peripheral blood smear. Bands of the expected size for M haemofelis and ‘ Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum’ were observed in all three cats. The 393 bp segment of one of the amplicons had a similarity value of 100% to M haemofelis, whereas the other amplicon, a 192 bp segment, was 100% similar to ‘ Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum’. After diagnosis, two cats received blood transfusion and they were all treated with doxycycline. All three cats recovered uneventfully.
Although Mycoplasma haemofelis and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" infections have been reported in wild cats from United States, their presence among native and captive wild cats in Brazil is still unknown. A 12 year old healthy male lion (Panthera leo) from the Zoological Garden of Curitiba, Brazil was anesthetized for transportation and dental evaluation. A blood sample was obtained for a complete blood cell count (CBC) and PCR analysis. DNA was extracted and fragments of Mycoplasma haemofelis and "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" 16S ribosomal RNA gene were amplified in PCR assays. CBC results were within reference intervals. A weak band of 192 pb for "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum" was observed, and no band was amplified from Mycoplasma haemofelis reaction. A weak PCR band associated with normal CBC results and without visible parasitemia or clinical signs may suggest a chronic subclinical infection with "Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum". The lack of clinical signs may also represent the low pathogenicity of this organism; however, it is noteworthy that immune suppression caused by management and/or corticoids treatment may induce parasitemia and anemia in this animal. This detection suggests further studies in captive wild cats in Brazilian Zoological Gardens.