Experimental transmission and pathogenesis of immunodeficiency syndrome in cats.

We describe the identification, experimental transmission, and pathogenesis of a naturally occurring powerfully immunosuppressive isolate of feline leukemia virus (designated here as FeLV-FAIDS) which induces fatal acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in 100% (25 of 25) of persistently viremic experimentally infected specific pathogen-free (SPF) cats after predictable survival periods ranging from less than 3 months (acute immunodeficiency syndrome) to greater than one year (chronic immunodeficiency syndrome), depending on the age of the cat at time of virus exposure. The pathogenesis of FeLV-FAIDS-induced feline immunodeficiency disease is characterized by: a prodromal period of largely asymptomatic viremia; progressive weight loss, lymphoid hyperplasia associated with viral replication in lymphoid follicles, lymphoid depletion associated with extinction of viral replication in lymphoid follicles, intractable diarrhea associated with necrosis of intestinal crypt epithelium, lymphopenia, suppressed lymphocyte blastogenesis, impaired cutaneous allograft rejection, hypogammaglobulinemia, and opportunistic infections such as bacterial respiratory disease and necrotizing stomatitis. The clinical onset of immunodeficiency syndrome correlates with the replication of a specific FeLV-FAIDS viral variant, detected principally as unintegrated viral DNA, in bone marrow, lymphoid tissues, and intestine. Two of seven cats with chronic immunodeficiency disease that survived greater than 1 year after inoculation developed lymphoma affecting the marrow, intestine, spleen, and mesenteric nodes. Experimentally induced feline immunodeficiency syndrome, therefore, is a rapid and consistent in vivo model for prospective studies of the viral genetic determinants, pathogenesis, prevention, and therapy of retrovirus-induced immunodeficiency disease.
AuthorsE A Hoover, J I Mullins, S L Quackenbush, P W Gasper
JournalBlood (Blood) Vol. 70 Issue 6 Pg. 1880-92 (Dec 1987) ISSN: 0006-4971 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2823940 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • DNA, Viral
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (pathology, physiopathology, transmission, veterinary)
  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases (microbiology, pathology, physiopathology)
  • Cats
  • DNA, Viral (analysis)
  • Leukemia Virus, Feline (genetics, growth & development)
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution

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