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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Nov 1;229(9):1442-6.

Detection of feline herpesvirus 1 DNA in skin biopsy specimens from cats with or without dermatitis.

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  • 1Departments of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.



To compare detection rates of feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1) DNA in skin biopsy specimens from cats with herpetic dermatitis, cats with nonherpetic dermatitis, and cats without dermatitis.


Prevalence survey. Animals-5 cats (9 biopsy specimens) with herpetic ulcerative dermatitis, 14 cats (17 biopsy specimens) with nonherpetic ulcerative dermatitis, and 8 cats (21 biopsy specimens) without clinically apparent skin lesions.


A single-phase PCR assay was used to detect FHV-1 DNA in biopsy specimens. Assay results were compared with results of histologic examination.


FHV-1 DNA was detected in all 9 biopsy specimens from the 5 cats with herpetic dermatitis and in 1 of 17 biopsy specimens from the 14 cats with nonherpetic dermatitis, but was not detected in any of the 21 biopsy specimens from the 8 cats without dermatitis. When results of histologic examination were used as the gold standard, sensitivity and specificity of the PCR assay were 100% and 95%, respectively.


Results confirmed that FHV-1 DNA can be detected in the skin of cats with herpetic dermatitis and suggest that the virus may play a causative role in the disease. In addition, the PCR assay may be useful in confirming a diagnosis of herpetic dermatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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