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Seroprevalences of feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus infection in cats in the United States and Canada and risk factors for seropositivity

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  • 1 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 2 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 4 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 5 Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610.
  • | 6 IDEXX Laboratories Inc, Westbrook, ME 04092.
  • | 7 IDEXX Laboratories Inc, Westbrook, ME 04092.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To estimate seroprevalences for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody and risk factors for seropositivity among cats in the United States and Canada.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS 62,301 cats tested at 1,396 veterinary clinics (n = 45,406) and 127 animal shelters (16,895).

PROCEDURES Blood samples were tested with a point-of-care ELISA for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody. Seroprevalence was estimated, and risk factors for seropositivity were evaluated with bivariate and multivariable mixed-model logistic regression analyses adjusted for within-clinic or within-shelter dependencies.

RESULTS Overall, seroprevalence was 3.1% for FeLV antigen and 3.6% for anti-FIV antibody. Adult age, outdoor access, clinical disease, and being a sexually intact male were risk factors for seropositivity for each virus. Odds of seropositivity for each virus were greater for cats tested in clinics than for those tested in shelters. Of 1,611 cats with oral disease, 76 (4.7%) and 157 (9.7%) were seropositive for FeLV and FIV, respectively. Of 4,835 cats with respiratory disease, 385 (8.0%) were seropositive for FeLV and 308 (6.4%) were seropositive for FIV. Of 1,983 cats with abscesses or bite wounds, 110 (5.5%) and 247 (12.5%) were seropositive for FeLV and FIV, respectively. Overall, 2,368 of 17,041 (13.9%) unhealthy cats were seropositive for either or both viruses, compared with 1,621 of 45,260 (3.6%) healthy cats.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Seroprevalences for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody were similar to those reported in previous studies over the past decade. Taken together, these results indicated a need to improve compliance with existing guidelines for management of feline retroviruses.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To estimate seroprevalences for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody and risk factors for seropositivity among cats in the United States and Canada.

DESIGN Cross-sectional study.

ANIMALS 62,301 cats tested at 1,396 veterinary clinics (n = 45,406) and 127 animal shelters (16,895).

PROCEDURES Blood samples were tested with a point-of-care ELISA for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody. Seroprevalence was estimated, and risk factors for seropositivity were evaluated with bivariate and multivariable mixed-model logistic regression analyses adjusted for within-clinic or within-shelter dependencies.

RESULTS Overall, seroprevalence was 3.1% for FeLV antigen and 3.6% for anti-FIV antibody. Adult age, outdoor access, clinical disease, and being a sexually intact male were risk factors for seropositivity for each virus. Odds of seropositivity for each virus were greater for cats tested in clinics than for those tested in shelters. Of 1,611 cats with oral disease, 76 (4.7%) and 157 (9.7%) were seropositive for FeLV and FIV, respectively. Of 4,835 cats with respiratory disease, 385 (8.0%) were seropositive for FeLV and 308 (6.4%) were seropositive for FIV. Of 1,983 cats with abscesses or bite wounds, 110 (5.5%) and 247 (12.5%) were seropositive for FeLV and FIV, respectively. Overall, 2,368 of 17,041 (13.9%) unhealthy cats were seropositive for either or both viruses, compared with 1,621 of 45,260 (3.6%) healthy cats.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Seroprevalences for FeLV antigen and anti-FIV antibody were similar to those reported in previous studies over the past decade. Taken together, these results indicated a need to improve compliance with existing guidelines for management of feline retroviruses.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Burling's present address is Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211.

Address correspondence to Dr. Levy (levyjk@ufl.edu).