Background Transmission of highly pathogenic avian influenza and the recent pandemic H1N1 viruses to domestic cats and other felids creates concern because of the morbidity and mortality associated with human infections as well as disease in the infected animals. Experimental infections have demonstrated transmission of influenza viruses in cats. Objectives An epidemiologic survey of feral cats was conducted to determine their exposure to influenza A virus. Methods Feral cat sera and oropharyngeal and rectal swabs were collected from November 2008 through July 2010 in Alachua County, FL and were tested for evidence of influenza A virus infection by virus isolation, PCR, and serological assay. Results and conclusions No virus was isolated from any of 927 cats examined using MDCK cell or embryonated chicken egg culture methods, nor was viral RNA detected by RT-PCR in 200 samples tested. However, 0.43% of cats tested antibody positive for influenza A by commercial ELISA. These results suggest feral cats in this region are at minimal risk for influenza A virus infection.
- Influenza A virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases