Feline panleukopaenia virus in captive non-domestic felids in South Africa
Thursday, 9th June 2016
Lane, E.P., Brettschneider, H., Caldwell, P., Oosthuizen, A., Dalton, D.L., Du Plessis, L., Steyl, J., Kotze, A.
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research, Volume 83, Number 1, 2016
An outbreak of feline panleukopaenia virus (FPLV) infection was diagnosed by pathology, electron microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in vaccinated captive-bred subadult cheetahs in South Africa. Subsequent to this disease outbreak, 12 cases of FPLV diagnosed on histology were confirmed by PCR in captive African black-footed cat, caracal, cheetah, lion, ocelot and serval.
Phylogenetic analyses of the viral capsid protein gene on PCR-positive samples, vaccine and National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reference strains identified a previously unknown strain of FPLV, present since at least 2006, that differs from both the inactivated and the modified live vaccine strains. A previously described South African strain from domestic cats and cheetahs was identified in a serval. Surveys of FPLV strains in South African felids are needed to determine the geographical and host species distribution of this virus. Since non-domestic species may be reservoirs of parvoviruses, and since these viruses readily change host specificity, the risks of FPLV transmission between captive-bred and free-ranging carnivores and domestic cats and dogs warrant further research.