PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF VIRUSES AND INTRACELLULAR BACTERIA STATUS IN URBAN CATS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH DEVELOPMENT OF

 

PRELIMINARY EVALUATION OF VIRUSES AND

INTRACELLULAR BACTERIA STATUS IN URBAN CATS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH

DEVELOPMENT OF SCHIZOPHRENIA IN HUMAN

Reza Firouzi

Background:  The scientists (EF

Torrey and RH Yolken, 1995), following their epidemiological studies have

presented the theory and the hypothesis, suggesting the role of domestic cats in

development of schizophrenia (SCZ) in humans.  Cats are well known carriers

of infectious agents such as viruses, bacteria and parasites responsible for

anthropozoonoses and their transmission could eventually be a risk factor for

the development of SCZ and bipolar disorder in humans.

Materials:  Around 60 cat’s sera,

and 34 cat’s brain samples from the Veterinary School of Lyon, France and some

private clinics, as well as 15 schizophrenic, 2 negative sera, 2 series of 10

schizophrenic brain blocks frozen and fixed cortex (parietal – occipital) and 10

brain blocks frozen cerebellum of the same individuals, as well as 5 normal

control brain tissues from the same regions and at the same conditions were

provided by Stanley Medical Research Foundation, Bethesda, MD.

Methods:  The samples were

analyzed for the presence of viruses such as retroviruses, Feline Herpes Virus

(FHV1), Feline Coronaviruses (FCoV), pestiviruses and intracellular bacteria by

PCR or RT-PCR, cloning and sequencing.  In parallel, comparative

histological slides prepared from schizophrenic and cat brain tissues from cats

with neurological syndromes. Immunohistochemistry studies have been carried out

on the same brain tissues, using vp g 68 mouse IgG1 monoclonal antibody anti-FIV

(GP120) and polypesti, oligoclonal-antibody (mixture of murine monoclonal

antibodies) directed against structural gp 48 gp 62 and non-structural p- 80-125

of BVD-MD, BD and HCV strains.  E. microscopy studies were carried out on

10 SCZ, 3 normal tissues (from the parietal-occipital) and 4 cat brain fixed

tissues and after post staining (lead citrate and uranyle acetate) were examined

at the E. microscopy center of the Laennec Medicine Faculty, Lyon, France.

Results: The retroviral sequences

related to Multiple Sclerosis Associate Retrovirus (MSRV) were detected in 1/15

SCZ and 3/4 cat sera.  Partial retroviral sequences related to mesocricetus

auratus retrovirus have been detected in 2/15 SCZ and 3/40 cat sera. 

Expected band was obtained after DNA amplification from the FHY1 Thymidine

Kinase (tk) sequences, in 2/7 SCZ sera, but following sequencing of numerous

clones, only human genomic DNA could be detected between the up and downstream

tk oligo primers.  No pestivirus or coronavirus could be detected in 15 SCZ

sera, 10 SCZ brain tissues, 60 cat sera and cat brain tissues analyzed. 

The research for intracellular bacteria was negative but only two types of gram

negative  bacteria (stenotrophomonas maltophilia, and a plant root nodule

bacteria) sequences could be detected in 2/15 SCZ sera tested.  No specific

staining on feline or human tissues could be observed following

immunohistochemistry studies. Following EM studies, a few number of probably

defective virus like particles with double membrane and dense nuclide as well as

some type of bacteria have been observed in some of the grids examined.

Discussion:  These preliminary

results may be encouraging for carrying out our studies on more specimens. 

The presence of retroviral sequences related to MSRV in some of the SCZ patients

have previously been detected and discussed by the scientists collaborating with

Stanley Research Foundation.  The presence of the same sequences in some

cats may need further studies on more cat specimens for a correct conclusion,

but it should be worthwhile to mention that, MSRV has recently been demonstrated

to have very close homology with Baboon endogenous retrovirus, which originally

belongs to the feline family.  The presence of mesocricetus auratus

retroviral (already isolated in CNS diseases) sequences both in SCZ and cat

specimens, might be another risk factor for developing schizophrenia, which

should be studied on a greater number of specimens.

Poster: