Emerging Viruses in the Felidae: Shifting Paradigms

Laboratory of Genomic Diversity, National Cancer Institute-Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.
Viruses (Impact Factor: 3.35). 02/2012; 4(2):236-57. DOI: 10.3390/v4020236
Source: PubMed


The domestic cat is afflicted with multiple viruses that serve as powerful models for human disease including cancers, SARS and HIV/AIDS. Cat viruses that cause these diseases have been studied for decades revealing detailed insight concerning transmission, virulence, origins and pathogenesis. Here we review recent genetic advances that have questioned traditional wisdom regarding the origins of virulent Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) diseases, the pathogenic potential of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) in wild non-domestic Felidae species, and the restriction of Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) mediated immune impairment to domestic cats rather than other Felidae species. The most recent interpretations indicate important new evolutionary conclusions implicating these deadly infectious agents in domestic and non-domestic felids.

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    • "Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) (Packer et al. 1999; Roelke et al. 2009; Troyer et al. 2011). Recent studies facilitated by current technologies, in addition to increased wild felid surveillance, have allowed paradigm shifts regarding the real pathology of these two infections in nondomestic felids (O'Brien et al. 2012). We did not find clinical signs of disease in guignas or domestic cats or evident pathologic signs at gross necropsy of road-killed guignas. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) are two of the most common viruses affecting domestic cats (Felis catus). During the last two decades, reports show that both viruses also infect or affect other species of the family Felidae. Human landscape perturbation is one of the main causes of emerging diseases in wild animals, facilitating contact and transmission of pathogens between domestic and wild animals. We investigated FIV and FeLV infection in free-ranging guignas (Leopardus guigna) and sympatric domestic cats in human perturbed landscapes on Chiloé Island, Chile. Samples from 78 domestic cats and 15 guignas were collected from 2008 to 2010 and analyzed by PCR amplification and sequencing. Two guignas and two domestic cats were positive for FIV; three guignas and 26 domestic cats were positive for FeLV. The high percentage of nucleotide identity of FIV and FeLV sequences from both species suggests possible interspecies transmission of viruses, facilitated by increased contact probability through human invasion into natural habitats, fragmentation of guigna habitat, and poultry attacks by guignas. This study enhances our knowledge on the transmission of pathogens from domestic to wild animals in the global scenario of human landscape perturbation and emerging diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of wildlife diseases
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    • "Many research groups have already acknowledged this (e.g. O'Brien et al., 2012). A solution proposed by Hunter et al. is to use FIVnegative lions, such as those in Etosha National Park. "

    Preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Oryx
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    • "During the 1994 Serengeti CDV outbreak, certain FIV clades were implicated in elevating susceptibility to co-infection with CDV but the effect was only marginally Downloaded: 14 Feb 2013 IP address: statistically significant (O'Brien et al., 2012). FIV-positive Hluhluwe-iMfolozi lions were apparently unaffected despite recent exposure to the virus and significant inbreeding depression that could be expected to elevate vulnerability (Trinkel et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: Despite formidable challenges and few successes in reintroducing large cats from captivity to the wild, the release of captives has widespread support from the general public and local governments, and continues to occur ad hoc. Commercial so-called lion Panthera leo encounter operations in Africa exemplify the issue, in which the captive breeding of the lion is linked to claims of reintroduction and broader conservation outcomes. In this article we assess the capacity of such programmes to contribute to in situ lion conservation. By highlighting the availability of wild founders, the unsuitability of captive lions for release and the evidence-based success of wild–wild lion translocations, we show that captive-origin lions have no role in species restoration. We also argue that approaches to reintroduction exemplified by the lion encounter industry do not address the reasons for the decline of lions in situ, nor do they represent a model that can be widely applied to restoration of threatened felids elsewhere.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Oryx
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