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An investigation into an outbreak of pancytopenia in cats in the United Kingdom

Glanemann, Barbara; Humm, Karen; Pegram, Camilla; Chan, Dan


Barbara Glanemann

Karen Humm

Camilla Pegram

Dan Chan


Background: In spring 2021 increasing numbers of cats presenting with severe pancytopenia were noted in United Kingdom (UK).
Objective: To describe process and outcome of the investigation performed into the outbreak of pancytopenia in cats.
Animals: Five hundred and eighty client owned cats that presented with severe bi- or pancytopenia of unknown cause.
Methods: Real-time data collection was performed by an online registration forum available to all veterinary surgeons in UK. Data collected included demographics, clinicopathological findings, diagnostic testing, dietary and drug history, outcome and COVID household status. Mycotoxicological feed analysis was performed on feed samples of 3 diets frequently mentioned in the database and 3 control diets.
Results: Five hundred and eighty cats presented to 378 veterinary practices were included for analysis. Case fatality rate was 63.3%. Dietary history was available for544 (93.8%) cats, of which 500 (86%) were fed 1 of 3 diets (which were recalled mid-investigation). 54 (9.3%) cats were not fed a recalled product, with diet information unknown in 26 (4.5%) cats. Analysis of feed samples revealed concentrations of hematotoxic trichothecene T-2/HT-2 mycotoxins greater than recommended by the European Commission in 5/7 recalled diet samples but in none of control diet samples. The trichothecene mycotoxin diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) was detectable in all recalled diet samples but not in any of control samples.
Conclusion and Clinical Importance: Contaminated-feed induced trichothecene mycotoxicosis should be considered as a differential diagnosis for pancytopenia in cats.|


Glanemann, B., Humm, K., Pegram, C., & Chan, D. (2023). An investigation into an outbreak of pancytopenia in cats in the United Kingdom. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 37, 117-125.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 12, 2022
Publication Date Jan 7, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2022
Publicly Available Date Feb 2, 2023
Print ISSN 0891-6640
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Pages 117-125
Keywords diacetoxyscirpenol, neutropenia, T-2/HT-2 mycotoxin, thrombocytopenia


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