To determine the effects of orally administered raltegravir in cats with experimentally induced ocular and respiratory feline herpesvirus-1 (FHV-1) infection.
14 healthy 6-month-old unvaccinated specific pathogen–free cats.
On day 0, all cats were experimentally inoculated by topical application of 0.1 mL of a solution containing 106 plaque-forming units of FHV-1 strain FH2CS to the inferior conjunctival fornix of each eye. Cats were randomly assigned to receive either raltegravir (80 mg; n = 7) or lactose (250 mg; vehicle; 7), PO, every 12 hours for 14 days beginning on day 1. Cats were assigned clinical ocular and respiratory disease scores every other day from days 0 to 30. Conjunctival swab specimens were collected for detection of FHV-1 by virus isolation and real-time PCR assay at 3-day intervals from days 0 to 30. Confocal microscopy was performed on days 0 and 10 to assess corneal epithelial leukocyte infiltration. The assessed variables and duration of FHV-1 shedding were compared between the 2 treatment groups.
Cats in both groups developed moderate to severe conjunctivitis and ulcerative keratitis characteristic of FHV-1 infection. Median duration of FHV-1 shedding was shorter and signs of ocular and respiratory disease were less severe for raltegravir-treated cats than for vehicle-treated cats. However, the mean conjunctival FHV-1 titer and corneal epithelial leukocyte count did not differ between the 2 groups.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested orally administered raltegravir might be effective for alleviation of ocular and respiratory signs of FHV-1 infection in cats. (Am J Vet Res 2019;80:490–497)