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Vet Microbiol. 2012 Aug 17;158(3-4):400-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.02.033. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Virological Survey in free-ranging wildcats (Felis silvestris) and feral domestic cats in Portugal.

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Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal (CIISA), Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Avenida da Universidade Técnica, Polo Universitário da Ajuda, 1300-477 Lisboa, Portugal.


To determine the presence of viral pathogens in natural areas a survey was conducted on an opportunistic sample of fifty eight wild (Felis silvestris silvestris) and feral cats (F. s. catus). The biological materials included serum, lung tissue extract and stool. Feline leukemia virus p27 antigen was detected in 13/50 serum/lung tissue extract samples (26%), canine distemper virus antibodies were detected in 2/26 serum/lung tissue extract samples (7.7%), feline coronavirus RNA was present in 6/29 stool samples (20.7%) and feline parvovirus DNA in 2/29 stool samples (6.9%). Canine distemper virus RNA was not detected. Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline coronavirus antibodies were not detected. Evidence of exposure to feline leukemia virus, canine distemper virus, feline coronavirus and feline parvovirus was found in wild and feral cats raising the importance of performing a comprehensive survey to correctly evaluate the potential threat of infectious diseases to endangered species, namely to the wildcat and to the Iberian lynx, which is meant to be reintroduced after 2012 in Portugal.

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