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Viruses 2018, 10(7), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10070378

Identification of Felis catus Gammaherpesvirus 1 in Tsushima Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) on Tsushima Island, Japan

1
The United Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Yamaguchi University, 1677-1 Yoshida, Yamaguchi 753-8515, Japan
2
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O. BOX 3019, Morogoro 67125, Tanzania
3
Conservation and Animal Welfare Trust, Tsushima, 642-2 Kamiagata, Tsushima, Nagasaki 817-1602, Japan
4
Joint Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kagoshima University, 1-21-24 Kagoshima, Kagoshima 890-0065, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 19 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Abstract

Felis catus gammaherpesvirus 1 (FcaGHV1) is a widely endemic infection of domestic cats. Current epidemiological data identify domestic cats as the sole natural host for FcaGHV1. The Tsushima leopard cat (TLC; Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) is a critically endangered species that lives only on Tsushima Island, Nagasaki, Japan. Nested PCR was used to test the blood or spleen of 89 TLCs for FcaGHV1 DNA; three (3.37%; 95% CI, 0.70–9.54) were positive. For TLC management purposes, we also screened domestic cats and the virus was detected in 13.02% (95% CI, 8.83–18.27) of 215 cats. Regarding phylogeny, the partial sequences of FcaGHV1 from domestic cats and TLCs formed one cluster, indicating that similar strains circulate in both populations. In domestic cats, we found no significant difference in FcaGHV1 detection in feline immunodeficiency virus-infected (p = 0.080) or feline leukemia virus-infected (p = 0.163) cats, but males were significantly more likely to be FcaGHV1 positive (odds ratio, 5.86; 95% CI, 2.27–15.14) than females. The higher frequency of FcaGHV1 detection in domestic cats than TLCs, and the location of the viral DNA sequences from both cats within the same genetic cluster suggests that virus transmission from domestic cats to TLCs is likely. View Full-Text
Keywords: gammaherpesvirus; feline; domestic cat; Tsushima leopard cat; Tsushima Island; FcaGHV1; molecular epidemiology gammaherpesvirus; feline; domestic cat; Tsushima leopard cat; Tsushima Island; FcaGHV1; molecular epidemiology
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Makundi, I.; Koshida, Y.; Endo, Y.; Nishigaki, K. Identification of Felis catus Gammaherpesvirus 1 in Tsushima Leopard Cats (Prionailurus bengalensis euptilurus) on Tsushima Island, Japan. Viruses 2018, 10, 378.

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