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A Retrospective Study of Viral Molecular Prevalences in Cats in Southern Italy (Campania Region)

Viruses. 2022 Nov 21;14(11):2583. doi: 10.3390/v14112583.


From 2019 to 2021, a retrospective molecular study was conducted in the Campania region (southern Italy) to determine the prevalence of viral diseases in domestic cats. A total of 328 dead animals were analyzed by Real-Time PCR for the presence of feline panleukopenia virus (FPV), feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline enteric coronavirus (FCoV), rotavirus (RVA), feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1), and feline calicivirus (FCV). The possible presence of SARS-CoV-2 was also investigated by Real-Time PCR. The cats included in this study were specifically sourced and referred by local veterinarians and local authorities to the Zooprofilactic Experimental Institute of Southern Italy (IZSM) for pathological evaluation. The samples consisted of owners, catteries, and stray cats. Results revealed: 73.5% positive cats for FPV (189/257), 23.6% for FeLV (21/89), 21.5% for FCoV (56/266), 11.4% for RVA (16/140), 9.05% for FeHV-1 (21/232), and 7.04 for FCV (15/213). In contrast, SARS-CoV-2 was never detected. FPV was more prevalent in winter (p = 0.0027). FCoV FHV-1, FCV, and RVA predominated in autumn, whereas FeLV predominated in summer. As expected, viral infections were found more frequently in outdoor and shelter cats than in indoor ones, although no statistical association was found between animal lifestyle and viral presence. The study showed a high prevalence of FPV, FeLV, and FCoV and a moderate prevalence of RVA, FHV-1, and FCV. Moreover, the prevalence of these pathogens varied among the cat populations investigated.

PMID:36423192 | DOI:10.3390/v14112583

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