Isolation of a T-lymphotropic virus from domestic cats with an immunodeficiency-like syndrome

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Science  13 Feb 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4790, pp. 790-793
DOI: 10.1126/science.3643650


A highly T-lymphotropic virus was isolated from cats in a cattery in which all the animals were seronegative for feline leukemia virus. A number of cats in one pen had died and several had an immunodeficiency-like syndrome. Only 1 of 18 normal cats in the cattery showed serologic evidence of infection with this new virus, whereas 10 of 25 cats with signs of ill health were seropositive for the virus. Tentatively designated feline T-lymphotropic lentivirus, this new feline retrovirus appears to be antigenically distinct from human immunodeficiency virus. There is no evidence for cat-to-human transmission of the agent. Kittens experimentally infected by way of blood or plasma from naturally infected animals developed generalized lymphadenopathy several weeks later, became transiently febrile and leukopenic, and continued to show a generalized lymphadenopathy 5 months after infection.

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