Every Cat Logo

Geographic variation in FeLV and FIV in the U.S.

Chhetri B, Berke O, Pearl D and Bienzle D. Comparison of the geographical distribution of feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia virus infections in the United States of America (2000–2011). BMC Veterinary Research. 2013; 9: 2. [free, full text article] 
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) share many risk factors for infection in cats. However, infection rates are thought to vary depending on location. Geographical distribution of each may vary. These investigators looked at the geographical distribution of both viruses in the U.S. Testing results for over 17,000 (FIV) and 30,000 (FeLV) cats were analyzed for the 48 contiguous states. The results indicate that risk factors may vary in different geographic locales. There is a higher prevalence of FIV in the southeastern U.S. compared with FeLV. In contrast, FeLV occurred at a higher rate in the western U.S. compared with FIV. This may be due to geographic variations in virus strains, vaccination rates, or as yet unknown geographic risk factors for each virus. While more research is needed to understand the specific risk factors responsible, this knowledge could influence recommendations for testing, management, and prevention. [MK]

See also:
Levy J, Crawford C, Hartmann K, et al. 2008 American Association of Feline Practitioners’ feline retrovirus management guidelines. J Feline Med Surg. 2008; 10: 300-16. [free, full text]

Little S, Bienzle D, Carioto L, Chisholm H, O’Brien E and Scherk M. Feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus in Canada: recommendations for testing and management. Can Vet J. 2011; 52: 849-55. [free, full text]