The kinetics of feline leukaemia virus shedding in experimentally infected cats are associated with infection outcome

Cattori, Valentino; Tandon, Ravi; Riond, Barbara; Pepin, Andrea C; Lutz, Hans; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina (2009). The kinetics of feline leukaemia virus shedding in experimentally infected cats are associated with infection outcome. Veterinary microbiology, 133(3), pp. 292-6. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.07.001

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Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infection in felids results mainly from oronasal exposure to infectious saliva and nasal secretions, but the potential for viral transmission through faeces and urine has not been completely characterized. In order to assess and compare potential FeLV transmission routes, we determined the viral kinetics in plasma, saliva, faeces and urine during early experimental FeLV infection (up to week 15 post-exposure) in specific pathogen-free cats. In addition to monitoring p27 antigen levels measured by ELISA, we evaluated the presence of infectious particles by cell culture assays and quantified viral RNA loads by a quantitative real-time TaqMan polymerase chain reaction. RNA load was associated with infection outcome (high load-progressive infection; low load-regressive infection) not only in plasma, but also in saliva, faeces and urine. Infectious virus was isolated from the saliva, faeces and urine of infected cats with progressive infection as early as 3-6 weeks post-infection, but usually not in cats with regressive infection. In cats with progressive infection, therefore, not only saliva but also faeces and to some extent urine might represent potential FeLV transmission routes. These results should be taken into account when modelling FeLV-host interactions and assessing FeLV transmission risk. Moreover, during early FeLV infection, detection of viral RNA in saliva may be used as an indicator of recent virus exposure, even in cats without detectable antigenaemia/viraemia. To determine the clinically relevant outcome of FeLV infection in exposed cats, however, p27 antigen levels in the peripheral blood should be measured.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ophthalmology

UniBE Contributor:

Pepin, Andrea Christa








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:13

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:22

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URI: (FactScience: 197480)

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