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Retrovirus infections in non-domestic felids: serological studies and attempts to isolate a lentivirus


Lutz, Hans; Isenbügel, Erwin; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Sabapara, R H; Wolfensberger, C (1992). Retrovirus infections in non-domestic felids: serological studies and attempts to isolate a lentivirus. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 35(1-2):215-224.

Abstract

An African lioness from the Zoo of Zurich had to be euthanized because of an inoperable tumor. The serum tested negative for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) p27 antigen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) but was strongly positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies by ELISA and Western blot. When her only offspring and mate were tested for FIV, high antibody titers to FIV were also found in their serum. Lymphocytes were prepared from these two lions on different occasions and co-cultivated with specific pathogen free (SPF) cat lymphocytes in the presence of concanavalin A and recombinant human interleukin-2 (IL-2) for 6 weeks. The cell culture supernatants tested negative for Mg(2+)-dependent reverse transcriptase and FIV p24 by a double antibody sandwich ELISA throughout the culture period. Whole blood and buffy coat cells collected from these two lions were transmitted by intraperitoneal injection into two SPF cats. The two cats did not seroconvert for a period of 11 months nor could reverse transcriptase activity and FIV p24 antigen be demonstrated in the supernatant of several lymphocyte cultures. To determine the importance of lentivirus infections in zoo-kept wild felids, 124 serum samples were obtained from African lions, Indian and Siberian tigers, snow leopards, panthers, cheetahs and other wild cats from nine European zoos. In addition, serum samples collected from 12 Asiatic lions originating from Gir forest in the Indian State of Gujarat were included in this study. The sera were tested for antibodies to FIV, FeLV and feline syncytium-forming virus (FeSFV) by ELISA and Western blot using the respective viruses after gradient purification. In addition, some of the sera were also tested for antibodies to equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) and Visna-Maedi virus (VMV). Antibodies to FIV were found in 30/53 (57%) of African lions, one of 18 tigers and one of four panthers. All other sera including those collected from the 12 Asiatic lions were negative for FIV antibodies. Some of the FIV positive lion sera had high antibody titers producing strong bands on Western blot strips even in dilutions of > 1:1000. The Western blot pattern of the lion sera differed from that of domestic cats in that primarily p24 and to a lesser degree p17 was recognized. Antibodies to FeSFV were found in 14 animals (seven with strong, seven with intermediate, reaction). No correlation was found between FIV and FeSFV infection. Antibodies to FeLV were found in two cheetahs which later turned out to have been vaccinated with Leukocell, a FeLV vaccine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Abstract

An African lioness from the Zoo of Zurich had to be euthanized because of an inoperable tumor. The serum tested negative for feline leukemia virus (FeLV) p27 antigen by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) but was strongly positive for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) antibodies by ELISA and Western blot. When her only offspring and mate were tested for FIV, high antibody titers to FIV were also found in their serum. Lymphocytes were prepared from these two lions on different occasions and co-cultivated with specific pathogen free (SPF) cat lymphocytes in the presence of concanavalin A and recombinant human interleukin-2 (IL-2) for 6 weeks. The cell culture supernatants tested negative for Mg(2+)-dependent reverse transcriptase and FIV p24 by a double antibody sandwich ELISA throughout the culture period. Whole blood and buffy coat cells collected from these two lions were transmitted by intraperitoneal injection into two SPF cats. The two cats did not seroconvert for a period of 11 months nor could reverse transcriptase activity and FIV p24 antigen be demonstrated in the supernatant of several lymphocyte cultures. To determine the importance of lentivirus infections in zoo-kept wild felids, 124 serum samples were obtained from African lions, Indian and Siberian tigers, snow leopards, panthers, cheetahs and other wild cats from nine European zoos. In addition, serum samples collected from 12 Asiatic lions originating from Gir forest in the Indian State of Gujarat were included in this study. The sera were tested for antibodies to FIV, FeLV and feline syncytium-forming virus (FeSFV) by ELISA and Western blot using the respective viruses after gradient purification. In addition, some of the sera were also tested for antibodies to equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV) and Visna-Maedi virus (VMV). Antibodies to FIV were found in 30/53 (57%) of African lions, one of 18 tigers and one of four panthers. All other sera including those collected from the 12 Asiatic lions were negative for FIV antibodies. Some of the FIV positive lion sera had high antibody titers producing strong bands on Western blot strips even in dilutions of > 1:1000. The Western blot pattern of the lion sera differed from that of domestic cats in that primarily p24 and to a lesser degree p17 was recognized. Antibodies to FeSFV were found in 14 animals (seven with strong, seven with intermediate, reaction). No correlation was found between FIV and FeSFV infection. Antibodies to FeLV were found in two cheetahs which later turned out to have been vaccinated with Leukocell, a FeLV vaccine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:December 1992
Deposited On:22 Dec 2016 14:43
Last Modified:21 Nov 2017 18:47
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0165-2427
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-2427(92)90133-B
PubMed ID:1337398

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