Every Cat Logo

Herpesvirus Infections in Cats

Westermeyer, H. D., S. M. Thomasy, et al. (2009). “Assessment of viremia associated with experimental primary feline herpesvirus infection or presumed herpetic recrudescence in cats.” American Journal of Veterinary Research 70(1): 99-104.

Feline herpesvirus-1 is associated with respiratory disease, often in kittens. Most infected cats remain latently infected for life; these latent infections may reactivate during times of stress. While herpesviruses in other species commonly spread to other tissues in infected animals via the bloodstream, this appears to be infrequent in cats. These researchers investigated the occurrence of virus in the blood of infected cats during acute infection, as well as during reactivation of latent infections. Following infection of six cats with FHV-1, virus was detected in the blood for up to two weeks post-infection. However, virus was not detected in the blood of 34 shelter cats, 25 of whom had evidence of FHV-associated disease and tested positive for the virus on conjunctival samples, using either virus isolation or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. The authors conclude there may be a brief period of viremia in cats following acute infection, but none associated with reactivation of latent infection. [MK]
>> PubMed Abstract

Related articles:
Maggs, D., M. Lappin, et al. (1999). “Evaluation of serologic and viral detection methods for diagnosing feline herpesvirus-1 infection in cats with acute respiratory tract or chronic ocular disease.” J Amer Vet Med Assoc 214(4): 502.
>> PubMed Abstract

Bannasch, M. and J. Foley (2005). “Epidemiologic evaluation of multiple respiratory pathogens in cats in animal shelters.” J Fel Med Surg 7(2): 109-119.
>> PubMed Abstract