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W18-014: Novel approaches to modulation of feline leukemia virus infection

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) causes serious diseases in domestic and wild cats worldwide. Approximately 33% of cats exposed to FeLV become persistently viremic with subsequent development of fatal FeLV-associated diseases, including immunodeficiencies and cancers. There currently is no definitive treatment for FeLV, and while existing vaccines reduce the number of persistent infections in cats, they do not prevent milder infections that result in virus reservoirs with potential for conversion to infectious virus production and transmission. The long-term goal of this research is to identify safe and effective treatment strategies for eliminating persistent FeLV infections. Recent studies on mouse leukemia virus, showed that a class of small molecule drugs decrease mouse leukemia virus infection. Studies investigating the effect of these small molecule drugs on FeLV have not been reported. The investigators’ specific aim is to determine the effects of these small molecule drugs on FeLV infection using a cell culture model. They hypothesize that these small molecule drugs will significantly reduce FeLV infection compared to untreated controls. Results from this study will further characterize mechanisms of FeLV infection and help direct future development of effective treatment strategies for eliminating and preventing persistent FeLV infections.

Grant ID: W18-014

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2018

Amount awarded: $24,974

Investigator: Cheryl Swenson, DVM, PhD and Vilma Yuzbasiyan-Gurkan, PhD; Michigan State University