O’Neill SH, Newkirk KM, Anis EA et al: Detection of human papillomavirus DNA in feline premalignant and invasive squamous cell carcinoma, Vet Dermatol 22:68, 2011.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common malignant neoplasm of feline skin and oral cavity. In humans, it has been suggested that human papillomaviruses along with ultraviolet light may act as cofactors in human skin cancer. These researchers determined the prevalence of papillomavirus in cutaneous and non-cutaneous pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions (SCCs) in 84 cats using virus genetic detection (PCR). Evidence of papillomavirus infection was found in 20 of the 126 samples tested. Interestingly, 50% of them were found to be most similar to human papillomavirus. The role of UV light in feline SCC remains unclear, and any causal relationship between SCCs and papillomaviruses in cats cannot be concluded. Papillomavirus was present in more cases than originally identified; the researchers point out the need for a larger prospective study to determine its role. [MK]