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FeLV and Feline Lymphoma

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is an important pathogen of cats. Since development of screening assays and vaccines for FeLV, the prevalence of persistently infected cats has decreased. Recent studies have shown that the FeLV genetic material remains in cats exposed to the virus, though viral replication may not occur. Concern exists that this persistent viral DNA may contribute to development of lymphoma in cats. To determine if an association exists, samples from 50 cases of lymphoma were tested for the presence of FeLV. Viral DNA was detected in a high percentage of all types of feline lymphomas by these investigators. Thus, though the prevalence of FeLV infection as well as lymphoma has decreased with the development of control measures for FeLV, a significant portion of feline lymphomas appear to involve FeLV genetic material. [MK]
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