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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2007 Jul 15;118(1-2):68-74. Epub 2007 Apr 19.

Evaluation of inflammation and immunity in cats with spontaneous parvovirus infection: consequences of recombinant feline interferon-omega administration.

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Dipartimento di Patologia Animale, Igiene e Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy.


Administration of recombinant feline interferon-omega (rFeIFN) has been proposed for the prophylaxis of canine and feline parvovirosis. In the present study, the influence of the administration of rFeIFN on blood markers of inflammation (alpha-globulins, alpha(1)-acid glycoprotein) and immune system activation (gamma-globulins, IgG, IgM, specific anti-feline parvovirus IgG or IgM) was evaluated in a cattery developing an outbreak of feline panleukopenia due to feline parvovirus (FPV) infection few days after initial administration of rFeIFN. Kittens (n=23) were injected with rFeIFN (1MU/kg subcutaneously, once a day for 3 days) and their blood parameters were compared with those of 17 untreated cats. Cats that survived the outbreak were vaccinated and re-sampled 1 month after the last rFeIFN administration. Time of emergence of clinical signs and survival rate were not significantly different between the two groups. Controls and treated cats surviving the infection had high levels of gamma-globulins, total- and anti-FPV specific IgGs, likely due to passive transfer of maternal immunity. Compared to controls, treated kittens had lower levels of alpha(1)-globulins and higher mean values of gamma-globulins and immunoglobulins. Data from samples collected after vaccination revealed a higher level of gamma-globulins, total- and anti-FPV specific IgGs in treated kittens, compared with controls, suggesting that rFeIFN stimulates antibody production. Based on this results, rFeIFN should be administered to the queen, to increase passive maternal immunity, or to kittens before introduction in a potentially contaminated environment.

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