Molecular cloning of a feline leukemia virus that induces fatal immunodeficiency disease in cats

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Science  19 Feb 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4842, pp. 906-910
DOI: 10.1126/science.2893454


A replication-defective variant of feline leukemia virus was molecularly cloned directly from infected tissue and found to induce a rapid and fatal immunodeficiency syndrome in cats. Studies with cloned viruses also showed that subtle mutational changes would convert a minimally pathogenic virus into one that would induce an acute form of immunodeficiency. The data suggest that acutely pathogenic viruses may be selected against by current methods for isolation of the human and simian immunodeficiency viruses.

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