Prevalence of Vector-Borne Pathogens in Stray Cats in Eastern Germany: Implications for Zoonotic Disease Surveillance

This study addresses the knowledge gap regarding vector-borne pathogen (VBP) prevalence in stray cats in Germany. Among the 50 sampled cats, 22% tested positive for at least one VBP through direct detection, rising to 64% via indirect methods. The findings underscore that stray cats can serve as vital reservoirs of VBPs, many with zoonotic potential, such as Bartonella spp., Rickettsia spp., and Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Notably, these results call for increased zoonotic disease surveillance and a One Health approach, given the zoonotic potential of identified pathogens and the lack of association with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) status.

 

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