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  • Author or Editor: Jessica L. Lachtara x
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Objective—To determine the seroprevalences of and seroconversion rates for FeLV and FIV infection in cats treated for bite wounds and cutaneous abscesses and to evaluate compliance with recommendations to determine the retrovirus infection status of cats at acquisition and 60 days after a high-risk event.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—967 cats from 134 veterinary practices in 30 states.

Procedures—Cats with bite wounds or abscesses were evaluated by use of a point-of-care immunoassay for blood-borne FeLV antigen and FIV antibody. Veterinarians were asked to retest cats approximately 60 days later to determine whether seronegative cats had seroconverted after injury.

Results—The combined FeLV-FIV status of only 96 (9.9%) cats was known prior to wound treatment. At the time of treatment, 187 (19.3%) cats were seropositive for 1 or both viruses. Age (adult), sex (male), history of cutaneous wounds, and outdoor access were significantly associated with seropositivity. At 73 of 134 (54.5%) veterinary practices, retesting of cats for retrovirus infection status was recommended to owners of 478 cats. Only 64 (13.4%) cats were retested; of these, 3 of 58 (5.2%) cats that were initially seronegative for FIV antibody seroconverted.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A high proportion of cats with abscesses or bite wounds were seropositive for FeLV antigen or FIV antibody. Compliance with recommendations to test cats for retrovirus infection status at acquisition or after treatment for injury was low. The FeLV-FIV infection status of cats with potential fight wounds should be determined at time of treatment and again 60 days later.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine seroprevalence of FeLV and FIV infection among cats in North America and risk factors for seropositivity.

Design—Prospective cross-sectional survey.

Animals—18,038 cats tested at 345 veterinary clinics (n = 9,970) and 145 animal shelters (8,068) between August and November 2004.

Procedure—Cats were tested with a point-of-care ELISA for FeLV antigen and FIV antibody. A multivariable random effects logistic regression model was used to identify risk factors significantly associated with seropositivity while accounting for clinic-to-clinic (or shelter) variability.

Results—409 (2.3%) cats were seropositive for FeLV antigen, and 446 (2.5%) cats were seropositive for FIV antibody; 58 (0.3%) cats were seropositive for infection with both viruses. Multivariable analysis indicated that age, sex, health status, and cat lifestyle and source were significantly associated with risk of seropositivity, with adults more likely to be seropositive than juveniles (adjusted odds ratios [ORs], 2.5 and 2.05 for FeLV and FIV seropositivity, respectively), sexually intact adult males more likely to be seropositive than sexually intact adult females (adjusted ORs, 2.4 and 4.66), and outdoor cats that were sick at the time of testing more likely to be seropositive than healthy indoor cats (adjusted ORs, 8.89 and 11.3).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that certain characteristics, such as age, sex, health status, and lifestyle, are associated with risk of FeLV and FIV seropositivity among cats in North America. However, cats in all categories were found to be at risk for infection, and current guidelines to test all cats at the time of acquisition and again during illness should be followed.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association