Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: hiv

HIV and pets

Posted in Cats
A little knowledge can be a bad thing. We see that with zoonotic diseases. Awareness is great. However, a little bit of awareness can be a problem if it’s enough make people paranoid but not enough to help them understand the real risks. This can lead to excessive and illogical responses (often ending with "…get… Continue Reading

Rat bite fever in a person with HIV/AIDS

Posted in Pocket pets
A recent report in the journal Infection (Chean et al. 2012) describes rat bite fever in a patient with AIDS. I’ve written about rat bite fever before, and it’s not really a surprising case report. Streptobacillus moniliformis, the bug that causes the disease, is found in the mouths of most rats (and in the mouths… Continue Reading

Watch out for rabbit pee

Posted in Other animals
Urine from healthy animals is typically considered to be of little to no risk to people. This is generally true, at least for the otherwise healthy human population, but like with most things in infectious diseases, there are exceptions. An interesting one in rabbits is a bug called Encephalitozoon cuniculi. This microorganism (now classified as… Continue Reading

HIV/AIDS, kids and pets

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases, Parasites, Salmonella
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released updated Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections Among HIV-exposed and HIV-infected Children. A small but still important part of this document involves recommendations for contact with animals. It’s a nice, balanced document that acknowledges the risk but doesn’t make unnecessarily restrictive recommendations. Among… Continue Reading

Rhodococcus equi in horses and people

Posted in Horses
Rhodococcus equi is a very well recognized pathogen in horses – it is a common cause of pneumonia in foals between the ages of 1-6 months, and infection is also sometimes associated with other problems such as diarrhea, swollen joints and abscesses in other parts of the body. The infection can be very difficult to… Continue Reading

CDC recommendations for people with HIV

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases, Reptiles, Salmonella
The latest edition of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports consists of the revised Guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Infected Adults and Adolescents. Among the highlights relevant to pets: HIV-infected patients should be advised to wash their hands after handling pets or other… Continue Reading

Pets and immunocompromised people

Posted in Birds, Cats, Dogs, Reptiles
There was an interesting article in USA Today about the increasing recognition of the positive role that pets can play in patients recovering from serious disease, and how contact with pets can sometimes conflict with disease transmission concerns in these same patients. The attitude towards pet ownership among physicians is highly variable – some recognize… Continue Reading

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus – HIV/AIDS for Cats

Posted in Cats, Other diseases, Toxoplasmosis
Everyone is familiar with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – the retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in people. Although HIV can only infect humans and some primates, cats can be infected by a very similar virus from the same genus (Lentivirus) with a similar name – feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). The FIV virus… Continue Reading

Toxoplasmosis – Why Your Cat Shouldn’t Get the Blame or the Boot

Posted in Cats, Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most widespread zoonotic pathogens in the world. Toxoplasma is a protozoal parasite that can infect almost any warm-blooded animal, including humans. In most people and animals, infection doesn’t cause any illness at all, and after the initial infection, the body usually produces strong immunity which protects it from subsequent… Continue Reading

HIV/AIDS and dogs

Posted in Dogs, Other diseases
Here are a couple questions that I get periodically… My dog licked someone with HIV/AIDS, and they had an open sore. Can my dog get HIV? Can a dog that bites someone with HIV get infected? If a dog bites someone with HIV then bites someone else right after, can it spread the virus? The… Continue Reading