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Feline Immunodeficiency Virus 

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Chapter:
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Author(s):

Rick B. Meeker

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780195399349.003.0026
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date: 27 May 2019

Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a naturally occurring lentivirus that naturally infects both domestic cats and free-ranging large cats. In domestic cats, FIV infection recapitulates most aspects of HIV-1 infection in humans, including the gradual development of immune deficiency and neurological symptoms. Both HIV and FIV viruses display a highly conserved tropism for the chemokine receptor, CXCR4, and rapidly penetrate the CNS, preferentially infecting microglia and macrophages. As with HIV-1, neuroinvasion by FIV produces a moderate and widespread inflammatory response that includes a small but progressive loss of neurons beginning in the asymptomatic stage of disease. These and other similarities have led to the use of FIV as a model to investigate HIV pathogenic mechanisms and potential therapies, with impressive results. This chapter summarizes advances in our understanding of FIV-associated CNS disease and efforts to develop new treatment strategies that prevent or reverse lentivirus-induced damage to the CNS.

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