Nothing like a party on the slide!  


In a recent cytology smear from a cystic oral mass in a cat, we observed several clumps of large, polygonal, sky blue, keratinised squamous epithelial cells. There are a few scattered erythrocytes in the background for size comparison (see image below).

An interesting finding were the mixed bacteria adherent to the squames, including numerous large, striped cigar-shaped structures, consistent with Simonsiella sp. (recently renamed Conchiformibius sp.). These are considered normal inhabitants of the oropharyngeal area. They multiply in stacks, forming giant structures that glide over the surface of squamous cells, rather like a giant bacterial slug.

Conchiformibius sp. are commonly seen in cytology from the oropharyngeal area, but can also be seen in vaginal cytology, and from lesions which may have been licked or chewed.