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Prevalence of Different Courses of Feline Leukaemia Virus Infection in Four European Countries


Abstract

Prevalence of progressive feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infection is known to still be high in cats in Europe, especially in Southern Europe, but the prevalence of other outcomes of FeLV infection has not been determined in most countries. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of progressive, regressive, abortive, and focal infection in four European countries, two with a high (Italy, Portugal) and two with a low expected prevalence (Germany, France). Blood samples of 934 cats (Italy: 269; Portugal: 240; France: 107; Germany: 318) were evaluated for the p27 antigen, as well as anti-whole virus, anti-SU, and anti-p15E antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in serum and for proviral DNA by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in whole blood. Positive p27 antigen ELISA results were confirmed by reverse transcriptase-qPCR (RT-qPCR) detecting viral RNA in saliva swabs and/or blood. The outcome of FeLV infection was categorised as progressive (antigen-positive, provirus-positive), regressive (antigen-negative, provirus-positive), abortive (antigen- and provirus-negative, antibody-positive), and focal (antigen-positive, provirus-negative) infection. Overall FeLV prevalence was 21.2% in Italy, 20.4% in Portugal, 9.5% in Germany, and 9.3% in France. Prevalence of progressive, regressive, abortive, and focal infection in Italy was 7.8%, 4.5%, 6.3%, and 2.6%; in Portugal 3.8%, 8.3%, 6.7%, and 1.7%; in Germany 1.9%, 1.3%, 3.5%, and 2.8%; in France 1.9%, 3.7%, 2.8%, and 0.9%, respectively. In conclusion, overall FeLV prevalence is still very high, especially in Southern European countries. Therefore, testing, separation of infected cats, and vaccination are still important measures to reduce the risk of FeLV infection.

Abstract

Prevalence of progressive feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) infection is known to still be high in cats in Europe, especially in Southern Europe, but the prevalence of other outcomes of FeLV infection has not been determined in most countries. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence of progressive, regressive, abortive, and focal infection in four European countries, two with a high (Italy, Portugal) and two with a low expected prevalence (Germany, France). Blood samples of 934 cats (Italy: 269; Portugal: 240; France: 107; Germany: 318) were evaluated for the p27 antigen, as well as anti-whole virus, anti-SU, and anti-p15E antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in serum and for proviral DNA by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) in whole blood. Positive p27 antigen ELISA results were confirmed by reverse transcriptase-qPCR (RT-qPCR) detecting viral RNA in saliva swabs and/or blood. The outcome of FeLV infection was categorised as progressive (antigen-positive, provirus-positive), regressive (antigen-negative, provirus-positive), abortive (antigen- and provirus-negative, antibody-positive), and focal (antigen-positive, provirus-negative) infection. Overall FeLV prevalence was 21.2% in Italy, 20.4% in Portugal, 9.5% in Germany, and 9.3% in France. Prevalence of progressive, regressive, abortive, and focal infection in Italy was 7.8%, 4.5%, 6.3%, and 2.6%; in Portugal 3.8%, 8.3%, 6.7%, and 1.7%; in Germany 1.9%, 1.3%, 3.5%, and 2.8%; in France 1.9%, 3.7%, 2.8%, and 0.9%, respectively. In conclusion, overall FeLV prevalence is still very high, especially in Southern European countries. Therefore, testing, separation of infected cats, and vaccination are still important measures to reduce the risk of FeLV infection.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Center for Clinical Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Infectious Diseases
Life Sciences > Virology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Virology, Infectious Diseases
Language:English
Date:10 August 2023
Deposited On:10 Oct 2023 15:31
Last Modified:29 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:MDPI Publishing
ISSN:1999-4915
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3390/v15081718
PubMed ID:37632060
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)