Nav: Home

Use of antivirals in retrovirus-infected cats

November 24, 2015

A number of antiviral drugs are licensed and widely used for the treatment of specific viral infections in humans. Potential new agents are also being investigated that it is hoped will overcome limitations of the current options, which include a narrow antiviral spectrum, ineffectiveness against latent virus infections, development of drug-resistance and toxic side effects.

The extent to which antiviral chemotherapy might be considered by veterinarians treating cats with retroviral infections is explored in a review article published this month in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

Among the most common infectious agents of cats are two feline retroviruses, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukaemia virus (FeLV), which are global and widespread. Retrovirus-infected cats need special management and care, and provided they receive this can live for many years in good health; in most cases, symptomatic treatment only is warranted. In this review, Professor Katrin Hartmann, Head of the Clinic of Small Animal Medicine at the LMU University of Munich, Germany, presents best practice recommendations for managing these cases. Her expert opinion is based on over two decades' research on infectious diseases in cats and dogs, with a special focus on viral infections in cats.

For more severe cases - such as an FIV- or FeLV-infected cat presenting with neurological signs or recurrent infections, or an FIV-infected cat with stomatitis - the advice is to consider incorporating antivirals into the treatment regimen. The selection includes zidovudine (or 'AZT'), the first drug to be approved for the treatment of HIV infection; plerixafor, an agent used in human stem cell mobilisation; or feline interferon omega. Significantly, the last is the only veterinary-licensed antiviral available.

Interest in exploring the efficacy in cats of antivirals intended for treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is based on the rationale that FIV and HIV are closely related, with many of the respective viral enzymes showing similar sensitivities to a range of inhibitors. FeLV is not as closely related to HIV, with the result that the available drugs have mostly been found to be less effective against this retrovirus.

This state-of-the-art publication collates available efficacy data on 14 antivirals, and grades the quality of this data according to evidence-based medicine (EBM) principles. Further clinical guidance is provided with the author's personal interpretation on what the data mean in practical terms - which drugs are likely to be effective in cats, which are possibly effective, which are not effective, and which are simply too toxic. Professor Hartmann concludes with a call for more well-designed clinical trials using antivirals in retrovirus-infected cats, to allow better judgement on treatment efficacy and side effects.
-end-
International Cat Care is a charity registered in England and Wales, Charity No. 1117342 and a company limited by guarantee, Company No. 6002684 Registered office: High Street, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6LD, UK VAT Registration No. GB 868 902576

*Hartmann K. Efficacy of antiviral chemotherapy for retrovirus-infected cats. What does the current literature tell us? J Feline Med Surg 2015; 17: 925-939 .

The article is free to read here: http://jfm.sagepub.com/content/17/11/925.full.pdf+html

Picture: This cat was diagnosed with dual FIV and FeLV infection. The patient, which has access outdoors and a history of fighting, is typical of the group of cats at high risk of retrovirus infection

Press enquiries: Margaret Melling, margaret@icatcare.org, +44 (0)1747 871872

Notes to editors:

About the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery is the official journal of the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), and is published by SAGE.

About the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM)

ISFM is the veterinary division of International Cat Care. ISFM aims to provide a worldwide resource for veterinarians on feline medicine and surgery.

About International Cat Care (iCatCare)

The International Cat Care vision:

All cats, owned and unowned, are treated with care, compassion and understanding.

The International Cat Care mission:

To engage, educate and empower people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion.

For more information, please visit http://icatcare.org or https://www.facebook.com/icatcare

SAGE

Related Hiv Articles:

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).
Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.
The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.
The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.
Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.
NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
First ever living donor HIV-to-HIV kidney transplant
For the first time, a person living with HIV has donated a kidney to a transplant recipient also living with HIV.
The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.
Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.
More HIV News and HIV Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Making Amends
What makes a true apology? What does it mean to make amends for past mistakes? This hour, TED speakers explore how repairing the wrongs of the past is the first step toward healing for the future. Guests include historian and preservationist Brent Leggs, law professor Martha Minow, librarian Dawn Wacek, and playwright V (formerly Eve Ensler).
Now Playing: Science for the People

#566 Is Your Gut Leaking?
This week we're busting the human gut wide open with Dr. Alessio Fasano from the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital. Join host Anika Hazra for our discussion separating fact from fiction on the controversial topic of leaky gut syndrome. We cover everything from what causes a leaky gut to interpreting the results of a gut microbiome test! Related links: Center for Celiac Research and Treatment website and their YouTube channel
Now Playing: Radiolab

The Flag and the Fury
How do you actually make change in the world? For 126 years, Mississippi has had the Confederate battle flag on their state flag, and they were the last state in the nation where that emblem remained "officially" flying.  A few days ago, that flag came down. A few days before that, it coming down would have seemed impossible. We dive into the story behind this de-flagging: a journey involving a clash of histories, designs, families, and even cheerleading. This show is a collaboration with OSM Audio. Kiese Laymon's memoir Heavy is here. And the Hospitality Flag webpage is here.