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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128

Abstract

MUCHAAMBA, Francis et al. A survey of feline leukaemia virus infection of domestic cats from selected areas in Harare, Zimbabwe. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2014, vol.85, n.1, pp.01-06. ISSN 2224-9435.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v85i1.1126.

A cross-sectional study was conducted to detect the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) p27 antigen and to determine risk factors and the haematological changes associated with infection in domestic cats in Zimbabwe. Sera were collected for detection of the p27 antigen, urea, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase levels, whilst whole blood was collected for haematology. FeLV p27 antigen was detected using a rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. Data on risk factors were analysed using a logistic regression model. Of the 100 cats tested, 41% (95% CI: 31.19% - 50.81%) (41/100) were positive for the FeLV p27 antigen. Sex and health status of cats were not significantly (p > 0.05) associated with infection. Intact cats (OR = 9.73), those living in multicat housing (OR = 5.23) and cats that had access to outdoor life (OR = 35.5) were found to have higher odds of infection compared with neutered cats, those living in single-cat housing, and without access to outdoor life, respectively. Biochemistry and haematology revealed no specific changes. The results showed that FeLV infection was high in sampled cats, providing evidence of active infection. Thus, it would be prudent to introduce specific control measures for FeLV infection in Zimbabwe.

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