First report of feline morbillivirus in South America
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Feline morbillivirus was first identified in healthy and diseased stray cats captured in Hong Kong. Recently, it was demonstrated that the virus circulates within cat populations in Japan, Italy, Germany, and the USA. Importantly, an association between feline morbillivirus infection and chronic kidney disease was suggested by histological analysis of kidney tissue of infected cats. The aim of this study was to verify the presence and examine the genetic diversity of feline morbilliviruses associated with infections of domestic cats in Brazil. Seventeen cats without clinical manifestations of urinary tract diseases from a multi-cat household and 35 random client-owned cats admitted to the Teaching Veterinary Hospital for a variety of reasons were evaluated for paramyxoviral infection and the presence of uropathy. A fragment of the paramyxoviral L gene was amplified from urine samples using a reverse transcription semi-nested PCR assay. For the first time, we detected a feline morbillivirus strain that was genetically related to viral strains previously characterized in Japan in urine samples from cats in South America, in Brazil. This together with the recent description of feline morbillivirus identification within cat populations in the USA, suggests a possible widespread distribution of this viral agent on the American continent. Our data demonstrated feline morbillivirus RNA shedding mostly in the urine of cats without clinical, laboratorial, or ultrasonographic signs of urinary tract diseases. In contrast to previously published findings that associated feline morbillivirus infection with chronic kidney disease, we did not observe a clear relationship between feline morbillivirus RNA shedding in urine and kidney disease in the cats evaluated.
KeywordsChronic Kidney Disease Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Canine Distemper Virus Urine Specific Gravity Gene Nucleotide Sequence
This study was supported by University of Cuiabá and the Brazilian funding agencies National Counsel of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) and Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP). A.A.A. and A.F.A. are supported by research fellowships and grants from CNPq.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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