Feline panleukopenia, caused by a parvovirus, is a serious and contagious disease of cats. The causative agent is distributed globally and infects a large range of felids. An outbreak of this disease occurred in vaccinated captive-bred subadult cheetahs in South Africa. Characterization of the causative virus revealed a previously unknown strain of feline parvovirus that differs from vaccine strains of the virus.
Subsequent to this outbreak revealed additional cases, both individual and multi-animal occurrences in a variety of nondomestic felids as well as domestic cats. As these investigators note, 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. (MK)