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Feline foamy virus seroprevalence and demographic risk factors in stray domestic cat populations in Colorado, Southern California and Florida, USA
Kechejian, S and Dannemiller, N and Kraberger, S and Ledesma-Feliciano, C and Lochelt, M and Carver, S and VandeWoude, S, Feline foamy virus seroprevalence and demographic risk factors in stray domestic cat populations in Colorado, Southern California and Florida, USA, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery Open Reports, 5, (2) ISSN 2055-1169 (2019) [Refereed Article]
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© The Author(s) 2019. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Our study aim was to document the seroprevalence and associated risk factors of feline foamy virus (FFV) infection in domestic cat populations presented to animal shelters located in Southern California, Colorado and Florida, USA.
We used a glutathione S-transferase capture ELISA targeting the FFV Gag antigen to screen domestic cat serum collected from cats with unknown owners at eight different animal shelters from Colorado (n = 105, three shelters), Southern California (n = 172, three shelters) and Florida (n = 31, two shelters). χ2 statistics determined location effect on seroprevalence. Bayesian generalized linear models were used to explore age and sex as potential risk factors for infection.
FFV seroprevalence was 64.0% across all locations. Seroprevalence by location was as follows: Southern California 75.0%, Colorado 52.4% and Florida 41.9%, with Southern California’s seroprevalence being significantly higher. Age had a significant effect on model fit for all locations, with adults having a higher probability of being infected. In Colorado, sex also had a significant effect on model fit, with males having a higher probability of being infected.
Conclusions and relevance
We have documented that FFV is extremely common in stray domestic cat populations across varied geographic and ecological niches throughout the USA. Adult cats are at a higher FFV infection risk than young cats. FFV has been associated with a higher risk of other retroviral infections and has been implicated in several chronic diseases of cats. Additional epidemiological and clinical studies are warranted to investigate the potential impacts of FFV on domestic cat health.