Genetic Characterization of Feline Leukemia Virus from Florida Panthers

National Cancer Institute, Frederick, Maryland, USA.
Emerging infectious diseases (Impact Factor: 7.33). 03/2008; 14(2):252-9. DOI: 10.3201/eid1402.070981
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT From 2002 through 2005, an outbreak of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) occurred in Florida panthers (Puma concolor coryi). Clinical signs included lymphadenopathy, anemia, septicemia, and weight loss; 5 panthers died. Not associated with FeLV outcome were the genetic heritage of the panthers (pure Florida vs. Texas/Florida crosses) and co-infection with feline immunodeficiency virus. Genetic analysis of panther FeLV, designated FeLV-Pco, determined that the outbreak likely came from 1 cross-species transmission from a domestic cat. The FeLV-Pco virus was closely related to the domestic cat exogenous FeLV-A subgroup in lacking recombinant segments derived from endogenous FeLV. FeLV-Pco sequences were most similar to the well-characterized FeLV-945 strain, which is highly virulent and strongly pathogenic in domestic cats because of unique long terminal repeat and envelope sequences. These unique features may also account for the severity of the outbreak after cross-species transmission to the panther.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cytotoxic CD8+ T-cell immunosurveillance for intracellular pathogens, such as viruses, is controlled by classical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ia molecules, and ideally, these antiviral T-cell populations are defined by the specific peptide and restricting MHC allele. Surprisingly, despite the utility of the cat in modeling human viral immunity, little is known about the feline leukocyte antigen class I complex (FLAI). Only a few coding sequences with uncertain locus origin and expression patterns have been reported. Of 19 class I genes, three loci-FLAI-E, FLAI-H, and FLAI-K-are predicted to encode classical molecules, and our objective was to evaluate their status by analyzing polymorphisms and tissue expression. Using locus-specific, PCR-based genotyping, we amplified 33 FLAI-E, FLAI-H, and FLAI-K alleles from 12 cats of various breeds, identifying, for the first time, alleles across three distinct loci in a feline species. Alleles shared the expected polymorphic and invariant sites in the α1/α2 domains, and full-length cDNA clones possessed all characteristic class Ia exons. Alleles could be assigned to a specific locus with reasonable confidence, although there was evidence of potentially confounding interlocus recombination between FLAI-E and FLAI-K. Only FLAI-E, FLAI-H, and FLAI-K origin alleles were amplified from cDNAs of multiple tissue types. We also defined hypervariable regions across these genes, which permitted the assignment of names to both novel and established alleles. As predicted, FLAI-E, FLAI-H, and FLAI-K fulfill the major criteria of class Ia genes. These data represent a necessary prerequisite for studying epitope-specific antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses in cats.
    Immunogenetics 06/2013; DOI:10.1007/s00251-013-0711-z · 2.49 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) belongs to the genus Gammaretrovirus, and causes a variety of neoplastic and non-neoplastic diseases in cats. Alteration of viral env sequences is thought to be associated with disease specificity, but the way in which genetic diversity of FeLV contributes to the generation of such variants in nature is poorly understood. We isolated FeLV env genes from naturally infected cats in Japan and analyzed the evolutionary dynamics of these genes. Phylogenetic reconstructions separated our FeLV samples into three distinct genetic clusters, termed Genotypes I, II, and III. Genotype I is a major genetic cluster and can be further classified into Clades 1-7 in Japan. Genotypes were correlated with geographical distribution; Genotypes I and II were distributed within Japan, whilst FeLV samples from outside Japan belonged to Genotype III. These results may be due to geographical isolation of FeLVs in Japan. The observed structural diversity of the FeLV env gene appears to be caused primarily by mutation, deletion, insertion and recombination, and these variants may be generated de novo in individual cats. FeLV interference assay revealed that FeLV genotypes did not correlate with known FeLV receptor subgroups. We have identified the genotypes which we consider to be reliable for evaluating phylogenetic relationships of FeLV, which embrace the high structural diversity observed in our sample. Overall, these findings extend our understanding of Gammaretrovirus evolutionary patterns in the field, and may provide a useful basis for assessing the emergence of novel strains and understanding the molecular mechanisms of FeLV transmission in cats.
    PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e61009. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0061009 · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Source

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 22, 2014