FeLV- FIV in cats  (2009)


Infections with retroviruses such as the Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) have a prevalence of approximately 1.5% respectively. 3.5% in the cat population in Germany (Gleich et. al. 2007).
The percentage of positive samples tested in the laboratory, however, is significantly higher (Chart 1 +2). Usually there is a clear suspicion of infection and the prevalence is therefore greater than 5% respectively. 7%.



FIV in cats FeLV in cats


A comparison of the distribution of positive samples in the different age groups shows this shift even particularly clearer.

FeLV vs. FIV

While animals under one year of age have significantly low values of  FIV, they rise from the second year of life significantly. For cats over six years, they are running well above 10%, before they again fall easily with higher age. This can be explained by the fact that the infection spreads in young and middle aged cats due to their “social life” and the infection persists lifelong.

Comparing with FeLV, the number of infections rises from the second year of life significantly, but here the number drops again from the sixth year of life.
This reflects, as in the literature described, again a kind of “age resistance”. Older cats seem less susceptible to an infection, and often undergo only a transient infection, partially without any clinical signs

In a comparison of the two infectious diseases it is clear that in cats under six years FeLV infection are more likely to occur with clinical signs, such as anaemia or lymphadenopathy e.g., as in FIV infection. This will change from the age of six years with a significant shift in the likelihood of a FIV infection.




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