While Morbilliviruses are known to cause significant diseases such as measles in humans and canine distemper, its significance in cats remains unclear. These investigators examined the frequency of infection and pathology of the virus in Turkish cats. Additionally, they analyzed the genetic features of the virus from this region. Samples from 96 ill cats as well as 15 deceased cats were analyzed.
Morbillivirus was identified in three of the sick cats (urine) and three of the dead cats (tissue). A significant proportion of these cats were street cats. Phylogenetic analysis of the viruses showed significant relatedness to strains from Japan and Germany.
While virus was found in kidney and liver tissue of the infected deceased cats, the level of pathology in these tissues was the same as for uninfected cats.
Thus, future studies will need to be done in order to determine what if any role this virus plays in disease of cats. (MK)