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A survey of feline leukaemia virus infection of domestic cats from selected areas in Harare, Zimbabwe

Francis Muchaamba, Takudzwa H. Mutiringindi, Musavenga T. Tivapasi, Solomon Dhliwayo, Gift Matope
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association | Vol 85, No 1 | a1126 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jsava.v85i1.1126 | © 2014 Francis Muchaamba, Takudzwa H. Mutiringindi, Musavenga T. Tivapasi, Solomon Dhliwayo, Gift Matope | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 October 2013 | Published: 14 November 2014

About the author(s)

Francis Muchaamba, Department of Clinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Takudzwa H. Mutiringindi, Department of Clinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Musavenga T. Tivapasi, Department of Clinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Solomon Dhliwayo, Department of Clinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
Gift Matope, Department of Paraclinical Veterinary Studies, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe


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Abstract

A cross-sectional study was conducted to detect the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) p27 antigen and to determine risk factors and the haematological changes associated with infection in domestic cats in Zimbabwe. Sera were collected for detection of the p27 antigen, urea, creatinine, alanine aminotransferase and gamma-glutamyl transferase levels, whilst whole blood was collected for haematology. FeLV p27 antigen was detected using a rapid enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kit. Data on risk factors were analysed using a logistic regression model. Of the 100 cats tested, 41% (95% CI: 31.19% – 50.81%) (41/100) were positive for the FeLV p27 antigen. Sex and health status of cats were not significantly (p > 0.05) associated with infection. Intact cats (OR = 9.73), those living in multicat housing (OR = 5.23) and cats that had access to outdoor life (OR = 35.5) were found to have higher odds of infection compared with neutered cats, those living in single-cat housing, and without access to outdoor life, respectively. Biochemistry and haematology revealed no specific changes. The results showed that FeLV infection was high in sampled cats, providing evidence of active infection. Thus, it would be prudent to introduce specific control measures for FeLV infection in Zimbabwe.

Keywords

Feline Leukemia; Cats; Harare

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