Poli A, Tozon N, Guidi G and Pistello M. Renal alterations in feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)-infected cats: a natural model of lentivirus-induced renal disease changes. Viruses. 2012; 4: 1372-89. [Free, full text article]
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with severe kidney disease including acute and chronic renal failure, but the underlying pathogenic mechanisms are unclear. HIV and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are closely related viruses so that disease in cats may be a model for disease in humans. Both human and feline patients may live for many years after infection and suffer from chronic diseases. While kidney disease has been documented in cats with FIV, no detailed description of the kidney lesions has been published.
The investigators, working at the University of Pisa in Italy, examined kidneys from 72 cats infected with FIV. They found and described pathologic changes in the kidneys of cats with FIV that are similar to those in humans with HIV. A high proportion of the cats were affected. Thus they conclude that FIV may cause kidney changes, perhaps leading to kidney disease in infected cats. [MK]