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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2006 Jul 15;112(1-2):67-77. Epub 2006 May 5.

Lessons from the cat: development of vaccines against lentiviruses.

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Retrovirus Research Laboratory, Institute of Comparative Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Glasgow, Bearsden Road, Glasgow G61 1QH, United Kingdom.


Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a natural infection of domestic cats, which produces a disease with many similarities to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in man. The virus is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in pet cats worldwide. As such an effective vaccine is desirable both for its use in veterinary medicine and also as a model for the development of an HIV vaccine. A large number of candidate vaccines have been tested against feline immunodeficiency virus. These include inactivated virus and infected cell vaccines, DNA and viral vectored vaccines, subunit and peptide vaccines and vaccines using bacterial vectors. Ultimately, the development of inactivated virus and infected cell vaccines led to the release of the first licensed vaccine against FIV, in 2002. This review highlights some of the difficulties associated with the development of lentiviral vaccines and some of the lessons that have been learned in the FIV model that are of particular relevance to the development of HIV vaccines.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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