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Isolation of feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus from domestic cats 1980 to 1989
  1. DA Harbour,
  2. PE Howard and
  3. RM Gaskell
  1. Department of Veterinary Medicine, Langford, Bristol.


Isolation rates of feline herpesvirus (FHV) and feline calicivirus (FCV) from oropharyngeal swabs, taken from 6866 cats in 1980 to 1989 were studied retrospectively. FCV was isolated from 1364 (19.9 per cent) and FHV from 285 (4.2 per cent). The ratio of FCV:FHV isolations varied from 1.3:1 to 15:1 in individual years with an overall ratio of 4.8:1. Isolation of both viruses was fairly uniform for each year and there was no breed or sex disposition to either virus. Of 872 cats shedding FCV and 213 cats shedding FHV, of known age, 447 (51.3 per cent) with FCV and 140 (65.7 per cent) with FHV were under one year old, compared to only 35.3 per cent of the whole population sampled. For the years 1985 to 1989, more information was obtained about the cases. Of 4626 cats tested, 1180 (25.5 per cent) had acute upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) of which 348 (29.5 per cent) were shedding FCV and 162 (13.7 per cent) FHV. A further 597 had chronic URTD and of these, 102 (17.1 per cent) were shedding FCV and 18 (3 per cent) FHV. In 120 cases of suspected vaccine reaction/breakdown, FCV was isolated from 34 (28.3 per cent) and FHV from only two (1.7 per cent). FHV was not isolated from any of 412 cases presenting with chronic gingivitis/stomatitis alone; 181 (43.9 per cent) were shedding FCV and when cats with other signs in addition to chronic gingivitis were included, this proportion increased to 70.4 per cent.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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