Feline Panleukopenia Parvovirus
Version 02-01-12

Feline panleukopenia is a viral disease of cats, highly contagious, sometimes fatal, occurring worldwide, caused by a parvovirus. This Parvovirus is highly resistant and can persist for months in the environment. Feline panleukopenia its incidence has declined because of the widespread use of vaccines. However, infection rates remain high in populations of unvaccinated cats, and disease seen occasionally in in purebred cats, young and vaccinated who have been exposed to high exposure to the virus.

The feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is closely related to the virus and mink enteritis Parvovirus canine type 2 (CPV-2, CPV-2a, CPV-2b). FPV can cause disease in all cats and members of related families (eg, mink raccoon and coati), but does not affect canids. On the contrary, canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2a and CPV-2b) has recently been shown to cause a similar panleukopenia in domestic cats and big cats disease.

Viral particles are abundant in all secretions and excretions during the acute phase of the disease and can be eliminated in the feces of surviving 6 weeks after recovery. The parvovirus are highly resistant to inactivation because they can survive more than a year in a suitable environment and can be transported long distances through fomites (eg, shoes, clothing). However, it inactivated by exposure to 6% bleach solution (aqueous sodium hypochlorite) for 10 minutes at room temperature and hydrogen peroxide disinfectants are also very effective.

The feline panleukopenia virus infects and destroys actively dividing cells of the bone marrow, lymphoid tissue, intestinal epithelium and in very young animals, the cerebellum and retina. In pregnant cats, the virus can spread via transplacental causing abortion or stillbirth. Moreover, infection of cats in the perinatal period can destroy the germinal epithelium of the cerebellum, causing cerebellar hypoplasia, incoordination and tremors.

Most infections are subclinical, as evidenced by the high seroprevalence of anti-FPV antibodies unvaccinated healthy cats. Those who fall ill are usually under 1 year of age and hyperacute cases may die suddenly, with or without notice (sudden death in young cats). Acute cases suffer fever (40 to 41.7 ° C), depression and anorexia after an incubation period of 2 to 7 days. Vomiting usually develops 1-2 days after the onset of fever, is usually bilious type and not related to food. Diarrhea may start a little late, but is not always present. Extreme dehydration develops rapidly. Terminal cases have hypothermia and can develop septic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation.

The disease is self - limited and rarely exceeds 5 to 7 days. Mortality is highest in young puppies under 5 months old.

A presumptive diagnosis is usually based on clinical signs and the presence of panleukopenia.

The differential diagnosis includes other causes of severe depression, leucopenia and gastrointestinal signs. Canine parvovirus (CPV, CPV-2) virus and feline panleukopenia (FPV) are closely related and are important pathogens of their respective hosts: dogs and cats, thus a diagnostic PCR techniques are more sensitive for a clear diagnosis. In IVAMI detection is accomplished by amplification of viral genomic DNA by PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

Election samples: rectal swab; scraping intestinal mucosa; EDTA whole blood (2 to 5 mL). Other samples: stool; intestinal biopsy; mesenteric lymph nodes.