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Abstract Title:

Biology of feline leukemia virus in the natural environment.

Abstract Source:

Cancer Res. 1976 Feb ;36(2 pt 2):582-8. PMID: 175919

Abstract Author(s):

W D Hardy, P W Hess, E G MacEwen, A J McClelland, E E Zuckerman, M Essex, S M Cotter, O Jarrett


The feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was discovered in 1964 in a cluster of cats with lymphosarcoma. The observed clustering of cases of feline lymphosarcoma suggested that FeLV was an infectious agent for cats. The development of a simple immunofluorescent test for FeLV permitted a seroepidemiological study to be undertaken on the distribution of the virus in cats living in their natural environment. Over 2000 cats were tested, and the results showed conclusively that FeLV is an infectious agent for cats. This finding has now been independently confirmed using three different test procedures. After the infectious nature of FeLV was discovered, a simple FeLV test and removal program was devised to control the spread of the virus in the natural environment. The spread of FeLV was controlled in 45 households by removing the FeLV-infected cats, while in 25 households, where the infected cats were left in contact with the uninfected cats, 12% of the uninfected cats became infected. The ultimate control of FeLV awaits the development of an effective FeLV vaccine, which now seems feasible since we have already experimentally immunized some cats with attenuated FeLV. Although FeLV is infectious for cats there is no evidence that FeLV can infect humans.

Study Type : Animal Study

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