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Prevalence of feline leukemia virus infection and serum antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus in unowned free-roaming cats

Irene T. Lee BS1, Julie K. Levy DVM, PhD, DACVIM2, Shawn P. Gorman MS3, P. Cynda Crawford DVM, PhD4, and Margaret R. Slater DVM, PhD5
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 3 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 4 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of FeLV infection and serum antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in unowned free-roaming cats.

Design—Cross-sectional serologic survey.

Animals—733 unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh, NC, and 1,143 unowned free-roaming cats in Gainesville, Fla.

Results—In Raleigh, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 5.3%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 2.3%. In Gainesville, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 3.7%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 4.3%. Overall, FeLV prevalence was 4.3%, and seroprevalence for FIV was 3.5%. Prevalence of FeLV infection was not significantly different between males (4.9%) and females (3.8%), although seroprevalence for FIV was significantly higher in male cats (6.3%) than in female cats (1.5%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence of FeLV infection and seroprevalence for FIV in unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh and Gainesville are similar to prevalence rates reported for owned cats in the United States. Male cats are at increased risk for exposure to FIV, compared with female cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:620–622)

Abstract

Objective—To determine prevalence of FeLV infection and serum antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in unowned free-roaming cats.

Design—Cross-sectional serologic survey.

Animals—733 unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh, NC, and 1,143 unowned free-roaming cats in Gainesville, Fla.

Results—In Raleigh, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 5.3%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 2.3%. In Gainesville, overall prevalence of FeLV infection was 3.7%, and overall seroprevalence for FIV was 4.3%. Overall, FeLV prevalence was 4.3%, and seroprevalence for FIV was 3.5%. Prevalence of FeLV infection was not significantly different between males (4.9%) and females (3.8%), although seroprevalence for FIV was significantly higher in male cats (6.3%) than in female cats (1.5%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prevalence of FeLV infection and seroprevalence for FIV in unowned free-roaming cats in Raleigh and Gainesville are similar to prevalence rates reported for owned cats in the United States. Male cats are at increased risk for exposure to FIV, compared with female cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:620–622)