ISSN 2398-2950      

Feline calicivirus

ffelis

Synonym(s): FCV, picornavirus, cat flu virus, Manx virus


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Family: caliciviruses.

Etymology

  • Greek: calyx means cup, calicivirus has many cup-shaped subunits on its surface as seen by electronmicroscopy.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Stratified squamous epithelial cells of the tongue, pharynx, tonsil and nostril.

Transmission

  • Usually direct, cat to cat.
  • Aerosol, only up to a few feet (1 m).
  • Indirect transmission may occur via fomites eg feedbowls, utensils, bedding or via personnel.

Pathological effects

  • Antigenic variation occurs such that neutralizing antibodies to one strain may not neutralize all other strains.
  • Vaccine strains are chosen as they are broadly cross-reactive and will neutralize a high percentage of strains.

Other Host Effects

  • Continuous virus shedding occurs in carrier animals.
  • Carrier animals are classified as cats who shed virus for 30 days or more post-infection; carrier cats usually 'self-cure' several months after infection but some persist lifelong.
    FIV positive cats are more likely to become persistent carriers.
  • Some cats can eliminate the virus but become reinfected with either a different strain of FCV, or a variant of the same strain.
  • It is therefore thought that some cats undergo cyclical re-infection, particularly in large groups of cats, where the prevalence is relatively high.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

  • No anti-viral drugs in use.
  • Supportive: broad spectrum antibiotics to deal with secondary bacterial infection, multivitamins.
  • Oxygen for those with pneumonia - can be difference between life and death.

Control via environment

  • Bleach diluted 1:32 in water with washing-up liquid is recommended. Detergents like quartenary ammonium not effective.

Vaccination

  • Attenuated living and inactivated systemic vaccines available.
  • 2 doses given at 8 and 12 weeks, or 2-4 weeks apart.
  • 6 monthly or yearly boosters or three yearly boosters.
  • Vaccination prevents or reduces disease but does not prevent infection.
  • Vaccination will not work in kittens already incubating the disease and many so-called vaccine reactions are, in fact, where this has occurred.
    Avoid aerosolizing (or nasal contact) systemic vaccines - if taken oronasally, these may cause clinical disease.
  • Vaccination does not eliminate virus from cats who are already carriers.

Other countermeasures

  • Treatment for cat flu:
    • Mucolytics.
    • Eucalyptus oil on bedding or bandana or steam inhalation to aid clearing of nasal passages.
    • Good nursing essential.
    • Use strong-smelling foods, eg sardines, to encourage cat to eat.
  • Treatment for gingivitis Gingivitis and stomatitis:
    • Oral hygiene: de-scaling, tooth brushing.
  • FCV prevention in kittens:
    • Boost queen's immunity before conception.
    • Isolate queen from other cats before birth of kittens.
    • Ensure good intake of colostrum to supply maternally derived immunity.
    • Wean kittens early, at 2-3 weeks of age, and keep isolated from other cats.
    • Vaccinate systemically at 8 and 12 weeks of age.
    • Early vaccines have been used but are not licensed.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Porter C J, Radford A D, Gaskell R M et al (2008) Comparison of the ability of feline calicivirus (FCV) vaccines to neutralise a panel of current UK FCV isolates. J Feline Med Surg 10 (1), 32-40 PubMed.
  • Radford A D, Coyne K P, Dawson S et al (2007) Feline calicivirus. Vet Res 38 (2), 319-335 PubMed.
  • Coyne K P, Dawson S, Radford A D et al (2006) Long-term analysis of feline calicivirus prevalence and viral shedding patterns in naturally infected colonies of domestic cats. Vet Microbiol 118 (1-2), 12-25 PubMed.
  • Coyne K P, Jones B R, Kipar A et al (2006) Lethal outbreak of disease associated with feline calicivirus infection in cats. Vet Rec 158 (16), 544-550 PubMed.
  • Schorr-Evans E M, Poland A, Johnson W E et al (2003) An epizootic of highly virulent feline calicivirus disease in a hospital setting in New England. J Feline Med Surg (4), 217-226 PubMed.
  • Dawson S, Willoughby K, Gaskell R M et al (2001) A field trail to assess the effect of vaccination against feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and feline panleucopenia virus in 6-week-old kittens. JFMS (1), 17-22 PubMed.
  • Radford A D, Sommerville L M, Dawson S et al (2001) Molecular analysis of isolates of feline calicivirus from a population of cats in a rescue shelter. Vet Rec 149 (16), 477-481 PubMed.
  • Binns S H, Dawson S, Speakman A J et al (2000) A study of feline upper respiratory tract disease with reference to prevalence and risk factors for infection with feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus. JFMS (3), 123-133 PubMed.
  • Radford A D, Dawson S, Wharmby C et al (2000) Comparison of serological and sequence-based methods for typing feline calicivirus isolates from vaccine failures. Vet Rec 146 (5), 117-123 PubMed.
  • Dawson S & Willoughby K (1999) Feline infectious upper respiratory tract disease - an update. In Practice 21 (5), 232-237 VetMedResource.
  • Dawson S, Gaskell R & Jarrett O S (1999) Vaccination in cats - an update. In Pract 21 (2), 71-74 VetMedResource.
  • Radford A D, Bennett M, McArdle F et al (1999) Quasispecies evolution of a hypervariable region of the feline calicivirus capsid gene in cell culture and persistently infected cats. Vet Microbiol 69 (1-2), 67-68 PubMed.
  • Thiel H J, König M (1999) Caliciviruses - an overview. Vet Microbiol 69 (1-2), 55-62 PubMed.
  • van Vuuren M, Geissler K, Gerber D et al (1999) Characterisation of a potentially abortigenic strain of feline calicivirus isolated from a domestic cat. Vet Rec 144 (23), 636-638 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Gaskell R M & Dawson S (1994) Viral-induced upper respiratory tract disease. In: Feline Medicine and Therapeutics .Ed. Chandler E A, Gaskell C J & Gaskell R M. Blackwell Science, Oxford OX2 0EL, UK. pp 453-472.
  • Gaskell R M & Bennet (1996) Feline infectious respiratory disease. In: Feline and Canine Infectious diseases.Blackwell Science, Oxford OX2 0EL, UK. pp 3-28.

Related Images

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!