Cat Diseases –  Feline acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome

Cat Diseases – Feline acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome

Feline acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome

Feline acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome is a chronic contact infectious disease in cats caused by feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), also known as feline AIDS (FAIDS). The disease is characterized by the occurrence of secondary and opportunistic infections after immunodeficiency. Recurrent infections of the respiratory system and digestive system, nervous system dysfunction and malignant tumors occur.

FAIDS was first reported by Americans in 1986, and FIV was successfully isolated. Because FIV has a special affinity for cat T lymphocytes, it is very similar to human immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), so it is commonly known as cat AIDS.


FIV belongs to the retroviral family, and lentivirus is a member of the lentivirus group. Virus particles are round or elliptical, with a diameter of 105-125 nm, have envelopes, and their genome is composed of a single RNA.

FIV can proliferate on primary cells such as cat blood monocytes, thymocytes, spleen cells and T lymphocytes, and can also grow on cat kidney cells, macrophages and brain astrocytes. Foam-like lesions occur when cultured on monocytes, and syncytia and cell necrosis occur when glial cells t1 are cultured.

FIV is sensitive to fat-soluble solvents such as ethanol and aerosol and peroxycholate, and commonly used disinfectants can inactivate it. The virus will lose its activity in an environment with a pH below 4.5 and a temperature of 56┬░C.


FAIDS mainly infects domestic cats. Adult male cats are more susceptible than female cats and castrated male cats. The infection rate increases with age. Cats between 5 and 8 years of age have the highest incidence. Free-range cats are more susceptible than caged cats . The rate is high. Other cats (wild cats, bobcats, African lions, jaguars, leopards, etc.) can also be infected.

Infected cats are the main source of infection. The main route of transmission is through bites, and bites from blood-sucking insects can also transmit the disease. Whether the mating of male and female cats can cause transmission remains to be confirmed. General contact and sharing eating utensils will not cause infection.

The disease is endemic. The positive rate of FIV in the healthy cat population in endemic areas reaches 1%-15%, and the sick cat population reaches 12%-44%.


The length of the incubation period varies from cat to cat. Generally, it is 1 to 2 months and the longest is 1 to 3 years. Natural cases are mainly seen in middle-aged and old cats. At the beginning of the illness, fever , poor spirits, and neutrophil reduction, lasting for a few days to several weeks, and then peripheral lymph nodes swelling. Because FIV destroys the normal immune function of the cat, the sick cat’s resistance to pathogenic microorganisms and autoimmune surveillance ability Decline, stomatitis, gingivitis, and chronic upper respiratory tract diseases occurred successively. Chronic skin diseases, weight loss, anemia, diarrhea, glaucoma, uveitis, keratitis, neurological diseases and various malignant tumors. The characteristics of hematological changes are: blood cell volume <24%, total number of white blood cells V5.5X109/L, lymphocytes <1.5X10VL. Neutrophils <1.5X109/L, platelets VL5X109/L,.

Pathological changes

The symptoms of the disease are complex and the manifestations of the lesions vary. The main anatomical changes include cecum, colonic granuloma, multiple ulcers in the colon, superficial inflammation of the jejunum, and gliomas and glial nodules in the brain. Histological examination: The proliferation of lymph node follicles penetrated into the cortex, the paracortical area was atrophy, and there were a large number of immature monocytes infiltrated in the spleen, red pulp, bile duct, alveoli, kidney and brain tissue.


Based on clinical symptoms, combined with persistent leukopenia in hematological examinations, especially neutropenia and lymphocytopenia, anemia, and hyperinemia, a preliminary diagnosis can be made. The diagnosis requires pathogenic diagnosis.

Serological tests can be used for antibody detection by immunofluorescence test and enzyme-linked immunosorbent test. Antibodies can appear in the blood of cats infected with FIV within 2 weeks. However, antibody test results sometimes cannot fully reflect the current cat’s infection status.


There is no effective drug treatment for this disease. In general, symptomatic treatment and supportive therapy are used to prolong the life of sick cats. In terms of prevention, there is currently no effective vaccine protection. The main measures are single cat feeding or small group feeding to prevent each other from biting and fighting. Male cats can be castrated and castrated without arbitrarily introducing new cats. Regular quarantine of cat populations in endemic areas is carried out once a quarter, and cats that are found to be positive will be eliminated as soon as they are found.

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