Measuring the humoral immune response in cats exposed to feline leukaemia virus

Parr, Y. A., Beall, M. J., Levy, J. K., McDonald, M. , Hamman, N. T., Willett, B. J. and Hosie, M. J. (2021) Measuring the humoral immune response in cats exposed to feline leukaemia virus. Viruses, 13(3), 428. (doi: 10.3390/v13030428) (PMID:33800090) (PMCID:PMC7998633)

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Retroviruses belong to an important and diverse family of RNA viruses capable of causing neoplastic disease in their hosts. Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) is a gammaretrovirus that infects domestic and wild cats, causing immunodeficiency, cytopenia and neoplasia in progressively infected cats. The outcome of FeLV infection is influenced by the host immune response; progressively infected cats demonstrate weaker immune responses compared to regressively infected cats. In this study, humoral immune responses were examined in 180 samples collected from 123 domestic cats that had been naturally exposed to FeLV, using a novel ELISA to measure antibodies recognizing the FeLV surface unit (SU) glycoprotein in plasma samples. A correlation was demonstrated between the strength of the humoral immune response to the SU protein and the outcome of exposure. Cats with regressive infection demonstrated higher antibody responses to the SU protein compared to cats belonging to other outcome groups, and samples from cats with regressive infection contained virus neutralising antibodies. These results demonstrate that an ELISA that assesses the humoral response to FeLV SU complements the use of viral diagnostic tests to define the outcome of exposure to FeLV. Together these tests could allow the rapid identification of regressively infected cats that are unlikely to develop FeLV-related disease.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was funded by an Industrial Partnership PhD award from the University of Glasgow and IDEXX Laboratories as well as Maddie’s Fund.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hosie, Professor Margaret and McDonald, Mr Mike and Parr, Ms Yasmin and Willett, Professor Brian
Creator Roles:
Parr, Y.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Resources, Data curation, Writing – original draft, Project administration
McDonald, M.Methodology, Resources
Willett, B.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Resources, Writing – review and editing
Hosie, M.Conceptualization, Methodology, Formal analysis, Resources, Writing – original draft, Writing – review and editing, Project administration, Funding acquisition
Authors: Parr, Y. A., Beall, M. J., Levy, J. K., McDonald, M., Hamman, N. T., Willett, B. J., and Hosie, M. J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Viruses
ISSN (Online):1999-4915
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Viruses 13(3):428
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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