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

Affiliation

Frederick National Laboratory of Cancer Research, Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., Frederick, MD 21701, USA. [Email]

Abstract

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.

Keywords

ELISA,Puma concolor,Spumaretrovirus,epidemiology,feline foamy virus,mountain lion,retrovirus,

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