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  • Author or Editor: Yinghua Liang x
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To examine shedding of cell-free and cell-associated feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in semen of domestic cats during acute infection.


7 specific-pathogen-free sexually intact male cats.


6 cats were inoculated IV with 5 × 106 50% tissue culture infective doses of FIV-NCSU1, and 1 cat served as an uninfected (control) cat. Infection was confirmed in the 6 cats. Periodically for up to 16 weeks after inoculation, cats were anesthetized and ejaculates obtained by use of electroejaculation. Virus was isolated from filtered seminal plasma and washed seminal cells by co-cultivation with a feline CD4+ T-cell line. Seminal cell lysates were also examined for a 582-base pair segment of FIV gag provirus DNA, using a nested polymerase chain reaction amplification.


During the acute phase of FIV infection, virus was evident in semen of 5 inoculated cats. Five cats had virus-positive seminal plasma and 3 had virus-positive cellular constituents during the study. Virus was isolated from 8/22 (36%) seminal plasma samples and 2/17 (18%) seminal cell specimens. Provirus DNA was detected in 5/24 (21%) seminal cell lysates. Cell-free virus was isolated as early as 6 weeks after inoculation, whereas cell-associated virus was isolated as early as 12 weeks after inoculation. Provirus DNA was detected in seminal cells from one cat as early as 1 week after inoculation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Cell-free and cell-associated FIV are shed in semen of cats early during the course of infection. Samples obtained before seroconversion may contain virus. Virus shedding in ejaculates varies between and within cats during acute infection. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:211-215.)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research