Role of Viruses in the Etiology of Naturally Occurring Feline Leukemia
The search to determine if retroviruses cause human leukemia has now been underway for at least 15 years. However, the number of investigators who have conducted direct studies with human materials has been small. By contrast, major emphasis has been given to the study of retrovirus-induced tumors of inbred mice and chickens as models for understanding leukemia of man. At the same time only a limited amount of attention has ben given to the study of the agents that are known to cause leukemia in cats and cattle. Having evolved under natural circumstances in outbred species, the feline and bovine retroviruses would appear to be important agents for study. Presumably information derived about potential mechanisms of leukemogenesis in these species would be applicable to many of the questions one might pose about the etiology of human leukemia. In this context we describe recent findings on the biology and natural history of the feline retroviruses and the diseases they cause.
KeywordsFeline Infectious Peritonitis Feline Leukemia Virus Persistent Viremia Cell Membrane Antigen FeLV Infection
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