Angiostrongylus chabaudi in felids: New findings and a review of the literature.
Cardiopulmonary infections by Angiostrongylus chabaudi affect domestic and wild felids but, due to limited information on the biology of this nematode, its pathogenicity remains unclear. This article describes the histopathological alterations associated with Angiostrongylus infection in a wildcat from Bulgaria, and reviews current literature on this feline angiostrongylid. Nematodes were isolated from lung lavage and faecal samples of a road killed wildcat in Southern Bulgaria. The morphological identification of parasite larvae as A. chabaudi was confirmed by molecular analysis of part of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene. Upon histopathological examination, severe granulomatous pneumonia, ranging from multifocal to coalescing, and pulmonary vascular lesions were observed. Extensive alveolar collapse, alveolar emphysematous changes, parenchymal haemorrhages and small artery wall hyperplasia were observed in the parenchyma adjacent to the granulomas. Histopathological examination revealed the presence of cross-sections of adult female parasites within the lumen of the pulmonary artery branches, the intima altered markedly by subendothelial proliferation and oedematous changes. This study compliments current knowledge of the pathogenesis of feline angiostrongylosis by A. chabaudi in wildcats, as well as of the distribution of this little-known parasite.