In May 1996 the Denver Zoological Gardens obtained two male and two female Pallas' cats (Otocolobus felis manul) that were wild-caught in the Ukraine. These animals were part of a group of 16 wild-caught adults (eight male and eight female) imported to the United States and Canada between 1995 and 1996. The Denver Zoological Gardens cats were quarantined at the zoo hospital for approximately 1 mo. During the quarantine period they were immobilized for physical examination, and sera were obtained from them to evaluate for exposure to Toxoplasma gondii. All cats were positive for T. gondii antibodies by latex agglutination (titers from 1:512 to 1:1024). After being paired for breeding, one pair produced two litters, and another pair produced four litters, a total of 17 kittens between 1997 and 2001. Four kittens and two young adults died from a disseminated granulomatous and necrotizing inflammation consistent with toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii infection was confirmed in all six deceased cats by polymerase chain reaction performed on formalin-fixed tissues. An additional five kittens disappeared and were not available for necropsy. The fatality rate from toxoplasmosis was 35.3% (6/17) for cats that were available for necropsy and could have been as high as 64.7% (11/17) if it were assumed that the disappeared kittens were also affected. The Pallas' kitten survival rate at the Denver Zoological Gardens was 35.3%. This article describes the clinical and pathologic features of toxoplasmosis in a group of Pallas' cats at the Denver Zoological Gardens.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2