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First report of virulent calicivirus in Italy

Jun 02, 2014
Battilani M, Vaccari F, Carelle MS, et al. Virulent feline calicivirus disease in a shelter in Italy: A case description. Res Vet Sci;95:283-290.
Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a contagious respiratory pathogen of cats that commonly afflicts populations in shelters and catteries. Usually the disease is relatively mild and self-limiting. A more virulent form of the virus causing more severe disease and multi-organ failure with significant mortality is known to occur less commonly. This paper describes the occurrence of this severe form in an FIV-infected cat in a shelter in Italy. It is the first report of this form of calicivirus in this country. Genetic characterization of this virus showed it to be distinct from other caliciviruses circulating in this cat population.

In the case described here, the cat was also FIV infected and therefore immunosuppressed to some degree. This might have supported the development of the disease by allowing newly formed virulent FCV to replicate and spread systemically. In conclusion, in analogy to FCoV infection and the development of FIP, the virulent form of FCV may preferentially develop in individual, persistently FCV infected cats due to host factors that allow the generation of FCV mutants with enhanced virulence. [MK]

See also:
Prikhodko VG, Sandoval-Jaime C, Abente EJ, et al. Genetic characterization of feline calicivirus strains associated with varying disease manifestations during an outbreak season in Missouri (1995-1996). Virus Genes 2014;48:96-110.

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