JPC SYSTEMIC PATHOLOGY
Signalment (JPC # 2188162): 21-month-old male Persian cat
HISTORY: This cat had a history of watery ocular discharge with intermittent periods of anorexia and vomiting.
HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION: Stomach, pylorus: Diffusely, the mucosa is thickened up to 2mm by hyperplastic gastric epithelium that forms tortuous, convoluted glands. Hyperplastic gastric pits are lined by abundant mucous neck cells that pile up to 5 cell layers thick and have frequent mitotic figures (mucous neck cell hyperplasia). Multifocally, pyloric glands are lost and replaced by fibrous connective tissue. Remaining pyloric glands are either tortuous and dilated with luminal sloughed epithelial cells and necrotic debris or are lined by basophilic cuboidal cells that pile up to 2-3 cell layers thick, have vesiculate nuclei, prominent nucleoli, and increased mitotic figures (regeneration). There are low to moderate numbers of lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages, and eosinophils within the lamina propria. There are many adult nematodes within the lumen, gastric pits, and attenuated pyloric glands. These nematodes are 30um in diameter and have a 2 um thick cuticle with numerous, evenly-spaced, longitudinal, cuticular ridges; platymyarian-meromyarian musculature; and a pseudocoelom containing a poorly discernible intestine and reproductive tract.
MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: Stomach, pylorus: Gastritis, proliferative, chronic, diffuse, moderate, with fibrosis and luminal and intraglandular nematodes, Persian, feline.
ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS: Gastric trichostrongyliasis
CAUSE: Ollulanus tricuspis
- A small, 1mm long, trichostrongyle nematode that inhabits the stomach of cats and swine, and is regionally common in some parts of the world
- Trichostrongyles: have platymyarian musculature, typically longitudinal cuticular ridges (evenly spaced or irregular, differences are used in speciation), and have characteristic strongylid intestinal tracts (large, lined by few multinucleated cells)
- Direct life cycle
- Entire life cycle can occur in one host
- Nematodes are viviparous (bear live larval young, in this case L3 larvae, not eggs), L3 larvae vomited à direct transmission via ingestion of L3 larvae à develop to adult within stomach
TYPICAL CLINICAL FINDINGS:
- Clinical signs are uncommon; vomition, anorexia, and weight loss
TYPICAL GROSS FINDINGS:
- Vary; none, mild gastric mucosal erosions, or chronic sclerosing gastritis with multifocal to coalescing nodular thickening of gastric mucosa
TYPICAL LIGHT MICROSCOPIC FINDINGS:
- Infection is associated with the following characteristic changes (characteristic even in the absence of identified nematodes):
- Increased lymphoid follicles deep in the gastric mucosa
- Increased interstitial connective tissue in the mucosa which often separates gastric glands (fibrosis)
- Numerous globule leukocytes in the gastric epithelium
- Heavy infection may cause mucous metaplasia and hyperplasia of gastric glands with mucosa thrown up into hyperplastic folds
- Nematodes may be rare in histologic sections:
- Small, 1mm length, with numerous longitudinal cuticular ridges recognized as projections on the surface of sectioned nematodes
- Platymyarian-meromyarian musculature and strongylid intestine (large, with multinucleated cells) are often difficult to visualize in tissue sections
- Located beneath the mucus on the surface of the stomach or partly in gastric glands
ADDITIONAL DIAGNOSTIC TESTS:
- Requires examination of vomitus, stomach washes, or gastric mucosal scrapings; due to life cycle, organism is not usually detected on fecal examination and therefore may go undiagnosed
Gastric nematodes of the cat:
- Ollulanus , Gnathostoma sp.(Spirurid), and Cylicospirura felineus(Spirurid) can cause gastritis in dogs and cats, but these are rare; found in submucosal nodules
- Physaloptera (Spirurid) are often thought of as gastric parasites because they are sometimes found in the stomach at necropsy/endoscopic exam, but they generally attach by anterior hooks to the proximal duodenal mucosa at the gastric valve; these occasionally cause vomiting, appear similar to ascarids, and intermediate hosts are coprophagic beetles
- Cyathospirura sp: Gastric nematodes found uncommonly in the gastric lumen in domestic and wild felids; may also be associated with gastric nodules
Ollulanus tricuspis in other species:
- Reported in non-domestic felids including cheetahs, lions, tigers, pumas, tigers; similar findings as above (must differentiate from Helicobacter-associated gastritis in cheetahs)
- Ostertagia ostertagi in cattle (see D-P13)
- Ostertagia (now Teladorsagia) circumcincta in sheep and goats
- Molineus torulosus (see D-P16) and Nochtia nochti (see D-P14) in non-human primates
- Trichostrongylus axei in horses
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