Open Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 38, Number 2, March-April 2007
Respiratory viruses of domestic animals
Page(s) 337 - 354
Published online 13 February 2007
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2007) 337-354
Vet. Res. 38 (2007) 337-354
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006063

Feline herpesvirus

Rosalind Gaskella, Susan Dawsonb, Alan Radfordb and Etienne Thiryc

a  Department of Veterinary Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, Neston, S. Wirral, CH64 7TE, United Kingdom
b  Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Chester High Road, Neston, S. Wirral, CH64 7TE, United Kingdom
c  Virology, Department of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Boulevard de Colonster 20, B43b, 4000 Liège, Belgium

(Received 6 October 2006; accepted 14 December 2006 ; published online 13 February 2007)

Abstract - Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1; felid herpesvirus 1 (FeHV-1)) is an alphaherpesvirus of cats closely related to canine herpesvirus-1 and phocine herpesvirus-1. There is only one serotype of the virus and it is relatively homogenous genetically. FeHV-1 is an important cause of acute upper respiratory tract and ocular disease in cats. In addition, its role in more chronic ocular disease and skin lesions is increasingly being recognised. Epidemiologically, FeHV-1 behaves as a typical alphaherpesvirus whereby clinically recovered cats become latently infected carriers which undergo periodic episodes of virus reactivation, particularly after a stress. The primary site of latency is the trigeminal ganglion. Conventional inactivated and modified-live vaccines are available and protect reasonably well against disease but not infection, although viral shedding may be reduced. Genetically engineered vaccines have also been developed, both for FeHV-1 and as vector vaccines for other pathogens, but none is as yet marketed.

Key words: feline herpesvirus / pathogenesis / epidemiology / review

Corresponding author:

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007

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