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Feline Foamy Virus is Highly Prevalent in Free-Ranging Puma concolor from Colorado, Florida and Southern California

Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Biodesign Institute, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Division of Infectious Diseases, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 12700 E 19th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Wyoming State Vet Lab, University of Wyoming, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, WY 82072, USA
Frederick National Laboratory of Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., Frederick, MD 21701, USA
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 1105 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
Rancher’s Supply Inc., Alpine, TX 79830, USA
National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Thousand Oaks, CA 90265, USA
Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA
Wildlife Researcher Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 2300 S. Townsend Avenue, Montrose, CO 80203, USA
Colorado Division of Wildlife Office, Mammals Research, 317 W. Prospect Rd, For Collins, CO 80526, USA
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, Colorado State University 115 Wagar, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA
Department of Molecular Diagnostics of Oncogenic Infections, Research Program Infection, Inflammation and Cancer, German Cancer Research Center, (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum Heidelberg, DKFZ), Im Neuenheimer Feld 242, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay, Tasmania 7005, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(4), 359;
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 15 April 2019 / Accepted: 17 April 2019 / Published: 19 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spumaretroviruses)
PDF [670 KB, uploaded 19 April 2019]


Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a retrovirus that has been detected in multiple feline species, including domestic cats (Felis catus) and pumas (Puma concolor). FFV results in persistent infection but is generally thought to be apathogenic. Sero-prevalence in domestic cat populations has been documented in several countries, but the extent of viral infections in nondomestic felids has not been reported. In this study, we screened sera from 348 individual pumas from Colorado, Southern California and Florida for FFV exposure by assessing sero-reactivity using an FFV anti-Gag ELISA. We documented a sero-prevalence of 78.6% across all sampled subpopulations, representing 69.1% in Southern California, 77.3% in Colorado, and 83.5% in Florida. Age was a significant risk factor for FFV infection when analyzing the combined populations. This high prevalence in geographically distinct populations reveals widespread exposure of puma to FFV and suggests efficient shedding and transmission in wild populations. View Full-Text
Keywords: feline foamy virus; epidemiology; retrovirus; Spumaretrovirus; mountain lion; Puma concolor; ELISA feline foamy virus; epidemiology; retrovirus; Spumaretrovirus; mountain lion; Puma concolor; ELISA

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Kechejian, S.R.; Dannemiller, N.; Kraberger, S.; Ledesma-Feliciano, C.; Malmberg, J.; Roelke Parker, M.; Cunningham, M.; McBride, R.; Riley, S.P.D.; Vickers, W.T.; Logan, K.; Alldredge, M.; Crooks, K.; Löchelt, M.; Carver, S.; VandeWoude, S. Feline Foamy Virus is Highly Prevalent in Free-Ranging Puma concolor from Colorado, Florida and Southern California. Viruses 2019, 11, 359.

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