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FIV and Papillomavirus

Munday JS, Witham AI: Frequent detection of papillomavirus DNA in clinically normal skin of cats infected and noninfected with feline immunodeficiency virus, Vet Dermatol 21:307, 2010.

Feline squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), a type of skin cancer, often have evidence of infection with feline papillomavirus (FPV); it is not known if the virus contributes to cancer development in cats. Cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) have a higher incidence of SCC, perhaps due to increased FPV infection. This study examined the rate of FPV infection in healthy cats (without SCC), and compared this rate in FIV-free (n=22), and FIV-infected cats (n=22). The investigators found that 52% of cats tested positive for FPV; no difference was found in FIV-infected versus uninfected cats. In addition, both FPV-infected and uninfected cats were found within single households, indicating exposure does not necessarily lead to infection. The investigators concluded that while FPV infection in asymptomatic cats is common, a link with SCC could not be shown. [MK]

Related articles:
Munday JS, Dunowska M, De Grey S: Detection of two different papillomaviruses within a feline cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: case report and review of the literature, N Z Vet J 57:248, 2009.