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Feline immunodeficiency virus PDF Print E-mail

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), occasionally referred to as Feline or Cat AIDS is a lentivirus that affects domesticated housecats worldwide. Approximately 11%  of cats worldwide, and about 2.5% of cats in the USA,  are infected with FIV. More than 90% of African lions in some zoos tested positive for the virus. FIV differs taxonomically from two other feline retroviruses, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline foamy virus (FFV). Within FIV, five subtypes have been identified based on amino acid sequence differences coding for the viral envelope. FIV is not a death sentence for cats, as they can live relatively healthy as carriers and transmitters of the disease for many years. A vaccine is available although its efficiency remains uncertain, and cats will test positive for FIV after vaccination.

FIV was first discovered in 1986 in a colony of cats that had a high prevalence of opportunistic infections and degenerative conditions, and has since been identified as an endemic disease in domestic cat populations worldwide