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Open Access Short report

Natural transmission of feline immunodeficiency virus from infected queen to kitten

Sheila de Oliveira Medeiros1, Angelica Nascimento Martins2, Carlos Gabriel Almeida Dias1, Amilcar Tanuri13* and Rodrigo de Moraes Brindeiro1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Virologia Molecular Animal, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2 Virus-Cell Interaction Section, HIV Drug Resistance Program, National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Frederick, MD, USA

3 Laboratório de Virologia Molecular, Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, CCS – Bloco A2, sala 121 – Cidade Universitária – Ilha do Fundão, 21944-970, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, Brazil

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:99  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-99

Published: 25 May 2012



Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a naturally occurring lentivirus that infects cats. The primary mode of transmission occurs through bite wounds, and other routes are difficult to observe in nature.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate FIV transmission from queen to kitten in a colony of naturally infected stray cats. With this aim, a queen was monitored over a period of three years. A blood sample was taken to amplify and sequence gag, pol and env regions of the virus from the queen, two kittens and other cats from the colony.


Phylogenetic analysis showed evidence of queen to kitten transmission.

Vertical transmission; FIV; Stray cats