Detection and molecular characterization of feline hemoplasmas in wild felid species in Iran in the Middle East

Fereshteh Ghazisaeedi*, Nahid Atyabi, Taghi Zahraei Salehi, Saeid Tabatabaei, Iraj Ashrafi Tamai, Iman Memarian, Séverine Tasker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Three feline hemoplasma species exist in felids: Mycoplasma haemofelis, ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum’, and ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis’. The aims of the study were to determine the presence of, and molecularly characterize, any hemoplasmas in wild felids, including the endangered Persian leopard in Iran, the Middle East. Blood samples were collected from 19 wild felids, including three Persian leopards. Using species-specific hemoplasma PCRs and ELISA serological testing for feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), two Persian leopards were found to be infected with ‘Ca. M. haemominutum’ and were seropositive for FIV. Partial 16S rRNA gene sequences were generated for these ‘Ca. M. haemominutum’ species and subsequent phylogenetic analysis revealed 97.70% to 99.45% sequence identity with those found in domestic cats from Iran and other countries. This study confirms the presence of ‘Ca. M. haemominutum’ and concurrent FIV antibody in wild felids in Iran. This represents the first report of hemoplasma in wild felids in the Middle East as well as the first report of infection in Persian leopards.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalComparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Feline hemoplasma
  • Panthera pardus saxicolor
  • Persian leopard


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