Feline Leukemia Virus

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The Feline Leukemia Virus is a retrovirus that affects several species of cats, Felicis Sylvestris being one of them. The genetic information of the virus is stored in the form of RNA(Ribo Nucleic Acid), which is why it is referred to as a retrovirus. The occurrence of this disease in cats varies in accordance with their environment.


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. ...
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