Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Feline immunodeficiency virus disease

Synonym(s): FIV

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Richard Squires, Severine Tasker

Introduction

  • Cause: feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) Feline immunodeficiency virus.
  • Signs: primary disease (lymphadenopathy, systemic illness); secondary disease (immunodeficiency diseases), eg chronic stomatitis, diarrhea, skin disease and opportunistic infections.
  • Diagnosis: ELISA Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), rapid immunomigration, Western blot, virus isolation.
  • Treatment: drugs for secondary illnesses, eg antibiotics; short-term corticosteroids, specific anti-retroviral drugs rarely used.
  • Prognosis: depends on response of opportunistic and secondary diseases to treatment. Often quite good in short to medium-term.
    Print off the Owner factsheet on FIV Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • FIV - species specific retrovirus; has many similarities to HIV but poses no public health risk.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Older male cats more likely to be infected.

Specific

  • FeLV Feline leukemia virus disease - primary disease caused by FIV is worse if cat already infected with FeLV. No statistical link between prevalence of the two infections suggests that they act independently.

Pathophysiology

  • Infection with virus   →   viremia   →   lymphadenopathy, lymphopenia, neutrophilia, followed by a quiescent phase and then a steady decline in T helper cells (CD4+)   →   immunodeficiency.

Timecourse

  • Once infected, cats do not eliminate virus.
  • FIV positive, cats can live, in apparent good health, for years.

Epidemiology

  • Virus spread by biting, also possibly in utero.
  • More commonly diagnosed in sick cats than healthy.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

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