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Prevalence, geographic distribution, risk factors and co-infections of feline gammaherpesvirus infections in domestic cats in Switzerland


Novacco, Marilisa; Kohan, Neda Ranjbar; Stirn, Martina; Meli, Marina L; Díaz-Sánchez, Adrian Alberto; Boretti, Felicitas S; Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina (2019). Prevalence, geographic distribution, risk factors and co-infections of feline gammaherpesvirus infections in domestic cats in Switzerland. Viruses, 11(8):E721.

Abstract

Recently, a gammaherpesvirus was described in domestic cats (FcaGHV1). The goal of the present study was to investigate the presence of FcaGHV1 in Swiss domestic cats and analyze potential risk factors. Blood samples from 881 cats presented to veterinarians in all Swiss cantons and from 91 stray cats and neoplastic tissue samples from 17 cats with lymphoma were evaluated. FcaGHV1 was detected by real-time PCR targeting the glycoprotein B gene, followed by sequencing. Blood samples were also tested for feline hemoplasmas, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). The molecular prevalence of FcaGHV1 was 6.0% (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.5-7.8%) in cats presented to veterinarians and 5.5% (95% CI, 1.8-12.4%) in stray cats. FcaGHV1 PCR-positive cats originated from 19/26 Swiss cantons. Factors significantly associated with FcaGHV1 detection included male sex, age >3 years, nonpedigree status and co-infection with FIV and hemoplasmas. Moreover, FeLV viremia tended to be associated with FcaGHV1 detection. High FcaGHV1 blood loads were found more frequently in FeLV-viremic cats and less frequently in hemoplasma-infected cats than in uninfected cats. Clinical information was unavailable for most of the 881 cats, but leukemia, carcinoma and cardiomyopathy were reported in FcaGHV1-positive cats. None of the tissue samples from the 17 cats with lymphoma tested positive for FcaGHV1. Sequence analyses revealed homogeneity among the Swiss isolates and >99.7% identity to published FcaGHV1 sequences. In conclusion, FcaGHV1 is present in Switzerland with a similar prevalence in cats presented to veterinarians and in stray cats. The pathogenic potential of FcaGHV1 needs further evaluation.

Abstract

Recently, a gammaherpesvirus was described in domestic cats (FcaGHV1). The goal of the present study was to investigate the presence of FcaGHV1 in Swiss domestic cats and analyze potential risk factors. Blood samples from 881 cats presented to veterinarians in all Swiss cantons and from 91 stray cats and neoplastic tissue samples from 17 cats with lymphoma were evaluated. FcaGHV1 was detected by real-time PCR targeting the glycoprotein B gene, followed by sequencing. Blood samples were also tested for feline hemoplasmas, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). The molecular prevalence of FcaGHV1 was 6.0% (95% confidence interval (CI), 4.5-7.8%) in cats presented to veterinarians and 5.5% (95% CI, 1.8-12.4%) in stray cats. FcaGHV1 PCR-positive cats originated from 19/26 Swiss cantons. Factors significantly associated with FcaGHV1 detection included male sex, age >3 years, nonpedigree status and co-infection with FIV and hemoplasmas. Moreover, FeLV viremia tended to be associated with FcaGHV1 detection. High FcaGHV1 blood loads were found more frequently in FeLV-viremic cats and less frequently in hemoplasma-infected cats than in uninfected cats. Clinical information was unavailable for most of the 881 cats, but leukemia, carcinoma and cardiomyopathy were reported in FcaGHV1-positive cats. None of the tissue samples from the 17 cats with lymphoma tested positive for FcaGHV1. Sequence analyses revealed homogeneity among the Swiss isolates and >99.7% identity to published FcaGHV1 sequences. In conclusion, FcaGHV1 is present in Switzerland with a similar prevalence in cats presented to veterinarians and in stray cats. The pathogenic potential of FcaGHV1 needs further evaluation.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Center for Clinical Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:FIV; FeLV; Switzerland; cat; gammaherpesvirus; hemoplasma; qPCR; retrovirus; veterinary sciences; virus load
Language:English
Date:6 August 2019
Deposited On:22 Jan 2020 15:20
Last Modified:01 Feb 2020 18:05
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1999-4915
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/v11080721
PubMed ID:31390829

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