Experimental quantification of the feline leukaemia virus in the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) and its faeces
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Cat fleas (Ctenocephalides felis) were fed via artificial membranes and infected with the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) from cell cultures. After removing the fleas from the blood source, the quantity of virus in the flea and its faeces was measured over a defined period of time. The virus was detectable in the fleas for up to 30 h at room temperature and up to 115 h at 4°C. In the faeces, the amount of virus decreased much more slowly – after 2 weeks half of the initial amount of virus could still be detected. Thus the faeces might be a source of further infections, e.g. for the flea larvae or the cat itself.