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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1992 Dec;35(1-2):167-75.

Use of two virustatica (AZT, PMEA) in the treatment of FIV and of FeLV seropositive cats with clinical symptoms.

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I. Department of Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.


In the present study the therapeutic efficacy and the side effects of two antiretroviral compounds used in human acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) research, 3'-azido-2',3'-dideoxythymidine (AZT, zidovudine, Retrovir) and 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine (PMEA), were investigated in the treatment of cats naturally infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and cats naturally infected with feline leukemia virus (FeLV). AZT was administered subcutaneously at a dose of 5 mg kg-1 body weight every 12 h and PMEA was administered subcutaneously at a dose of 2.5 mg kg-1 body weight every 12 h during a 3 week hospitalization. The therapeutic efficacy of both compounds was investigated. There was a stronger potency of PMEA than of AZT on the regression of stomatitis in FIV and in FeLV infected cats. In addition, in FIV infection PMEA had a stronger effect on the improvement of the general clinical status. Both antiretroviral compounds were potent agents to improve the immunologic status of FIV infected cats by raising the CD4/CD8 ratio. In FeLV infection PMEA and AZT appeared to reduce antigenemia. The hematological side effects caused by PMEA were severe and stronger than those of AZT. Therefore the advantage of PMEA in clinical and immunologic improvement was diminished by the hematologic disorders, which do not allow long term treatment with this drug in the dose used.

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