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Can J Vet Res. 2014 Apr;78(2):140-4.

Seroprevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in shelter cats on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

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Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 3X9 (Munro, Berghuis, Lang); Animal Health Division, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 7400, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador A1E 3Y5 (Rogers, Whitney).


in English, French

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are retroviruses found within domestic and wild cat populations. These viruses cause severe illnesses that eventually lead to death. Housing cats communally for long periods of time makes shelters at high risk for virus transmission among cats. We tested 548 cats from 5 different sites across the island of Newfoundland for FIV and FeLV. The overall seroprevalence was 2.2% and 6.2% for FIV and FeLV, respectively. Two sites had significantly higher seroprevalence of FeLV infection than the other 3 sites. Analysis of sequences from the FeLV env gene (envelope gene) from 6 positive cats showed that 4 fell within the FeLV subtype-A, while 2 sequences were most closely related to FeLV subtype-B and endogenous feline leukemia virus (en FeLV). Varying seroprevalence and the variation in sequences at different sites demonstrate that some shelters are at greater risk of FeLV infections and recombination can occur at sites of high seroprevalence.

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