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Immunology - Essay Example

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006) Researches have also made it clear that cats living in urban areas (40%) are more likely to be infected than the ones living in rural areas(6%) (Little, 2006)
The FeLV virus is a fragile virus and can survive for only two hours in a dry environment and 48 hours in damp and moist surroundings. Though it is contagious, it can only be transmitted among cats; it cannot potentially infect humans. Within cats, it is transmitted via intimate moist contact through licking, biting, grooming or eating from the same source. It can also be transmitted through urine, feces and milk. It is also transmitted from an infected mother to her new born kitten (Hoover & Mullins, 1991)
It is usually categorised in the following four classes- FeLV A, B, C and T. Out of these, only FeLV A is transmissible among cats, while the others arise de novo. While FeLV A causes severe immunosuppression, FeLV B and C cause neoplastic diseases and anemia respectively (Poulet et al,2003)
Once a cat is exposed to the virus, there are four possible consequences, depending on the response of the immune system. In about 30% of the cats, the virus evokes a strong immune response, which in turn extinguishes the virus. In another 30% the cats’ immune system does not produce an immediate immune reaction. At the same time though, the virus does not manifest its potential effects. It resides safely in a dormant state in the cats’ bone marrow. It might express itself later or may remain dormant forever. In the remaining 40% of the cats, the virus is successful and the cats become infected. (Hoover, Mullins, 1991)
Once the virus actively infects a cat, it can have hazardous effects. It can lead to cancerous diseases like leukemia and lymphosarcoma. It also leads to a generalized suppression of the immune system, and may also cause reproductive ailments. Besides these, it also damages the liver and intestine, and is also capable of causing blood infections (Little,2006)
A few tests have been devised ...Show more
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