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PLoS One. 2017 Jan 20;12(1):e0169739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0169739. eCollection 2017.

First Molecular Characterization of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus in Domestic Cats from Mainland China.

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Jiangsu Co-Innovation Center for the Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou University College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China.
Department of Clinical Sciences, Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, Basseterre, Saint Kitts & Nevis, West Indies.
Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn, Alabama, United States of America.


The feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a retrovirus of the Lentivirus genus that was initially isolated from a colony of domestic cats in California in 1986 and has now been recognized as a common feline pathogen worldwide. To date, there is only one recent serology-based report on FIV in mainland China which was published in 2016. We designed this study to investigate the molecular prevalence and diversity of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in domestic cats from mainland China. We studied the prevalence of FIV in whole blood samples of 615 domestic cats in five cities (Beijing, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai and Yangzhou) of mainland China and examined them using FRET-PCR (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-Polymerase Chain Reaction) and regular PCRs for the gag and env genes. Overall, 1.3% (8/615) of the cats were positive for provirus DNA with nucleotide analysis using PCRs for the gag and env sequences showing the cats were infected with FIV subtype A. This is the first molecular characterization of FIV in mainland China and the first description of subtype A in continental Asia.

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