Veterinary Record 146:419-424 doi:10.1136/vr.146.15.419
  • Papers & Articles

Long-term impact on a closed household of pet cats of natural infection with feline coronavirus, feline leukaemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus

  1. J. J. Callanan, PhD, MVB, MRCVS, MRCPath3
  1. 1 Department of Veterinary Pathology, University of Glasgow Veterinary School, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 IQH
  2. 2 1 Homefield Road, Bromley BRI 3AW
  3. 3 Department of Veterinary Pathology, University College Dublin, Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, Ireland


A closed household of 26 cats in which feline coronavirus (FCoV), feline leukaemia virus (FeW) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) were endemic was observed for 10 years. Each cat was seropositive for FCoV on at least one occasion and the infedion was maintained by reinfection. After 10 years, three of six surviving cats were still seropositive. Only one cat, which was also infected with FIV, developed feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Rising anti-Fcov antibody titres did not indicate that the cat would develop FIP. The FeW infection was self-limiting because all seven of the initially viraemic cats died within five years and the remainder were immune. However, FeLv had the greatest impad on mortality. Nine cats were initially FIVpositive and six more cats became infected during the course of the study, without evidence of having been bitten. The FIV infection did not adversely affect the cats' life expectancy.

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