Embolic necrosuppurative pneumonia in domestic cats induced by a novel Neisseria species

Christopher R. Bolt, Vikash K. Singh, Arno Wünschmann, Hallie C. Richards, Kelly L. Gehlhaus, Sunil K Mor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three cats, aged 2 to 11 years, presented to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory over a 3-year period following euthanasia or death due to respiratory distress. Thoracic radiographs revealed nodular, soft tissue opacities throughout the lung fields in all cases. On postmortem examination, approximately 60% to 80% of the lung parenchyma were expanded by multifocal to coalescing, well-demarcated, beige, semi-firm nodules. Histologically, large numbers of neutrophils, fewer macrophages, fibrin, and cellular and karyorrhectic debris effaced the pulmonary parenchyma. The inflammatory foci contained aggregates of gram-negative cocci. 16s rRNA Sanger sequencing and whole-genome sequencing identified the bacteria isolated from the lung of all cats under aerobic conditions as a novel Neisseria spp. Based on whole-genome sequence analysis, all 3 sequences shared 92.71% and 92.67% average nucleotide identity with closely related Neisseria animaloris NZ LR134440T and Neisseria animaloris GCA 002108605T, respectively. The in silico DNA-DNA hybridization identity compared to our isolates was 46.6% and 33.8% with strain DSM Neisseria zoodegmatis 21642 and strain DSM 21643, respectively. All 3 sequences have less than 95% average nucleotide identity and less than 70% DNA-DNA hybridization identity, suggesting that the 3 isolates are a novel species of the genus Neisseria. Infection with Neisseria spp. induces an embolic pneumonia in cats that radiographically and pathologically resembles a metastatic neoplastic process and should be considered among the etiologic differential diagnoses in cases of infectious pulmonary disease with a disseminated, nodular lung pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary pathology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Neisseria
  • bacterial pneumonia
  • bacteriology
  • feline
  • lung
  • next-generation sequencing
  • veterinary pathology

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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