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Treatment for feline leukemia virus

Cattori V, Weibel B and Lutz H. Inhibition of feline leukemia virus replication by the integrase inhibitor raltegravir. Vet Microbiol. 2011; 152: 165-8.

Feline leukemia virus is a retrovirus of cats that can cause cancer, anemia and immunosuppression. Currently, no effective treatment for FeLV infection exists. These researchers investigated the usefulness of an anti-retroviral drug called raltegrevir that was developed for treatment of HIV in humans. The researchers tested the drug in a laboratory setting for potential toxicity to feline cells, as well as the ability to inhibit the replication of FeLV in these cells. It was found that, at least in cell culture, this drug inhibited virus replication and did not cause toxic changes to the feline cells. The researchers speculate that this drug could be used to reduce virus replication in FeLV-infected cats to the point that their own immune system could eliminate the virus, effectively curing the infection. Many more studies are needed, but this research offers a promising first step. [MK]

Related articles:
Hartmann K. Clinical aspects of feline immunodeficiency and feline leukemia virus infection. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011; 143: 190-201.