Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Prevalence of antibody to hantavirus in some cat populations in Britain.

Abstract

Serum samples collected from various groups of cats since 1983 were tested for antibody to hantavirus by immunofluorescence antibody assay (IFA) and by ELISA using hantavirus strain 76/118. There was complete agreement between the IFA and ELISA results. The overall prevalence of antibody to hantavirus among 157 pet and feral cats was 9.6% (15 of 157). In addition 10 Scottish wild cats (Felis silvestris silvestris) were tested and none was positive. Further studies showed that although a few clinically healthy cats were seropositive, cats with antibody to hantavirus were often chronically ill. A further study of serum samples from 81 cats with a variety of chronic illnesses showed that 19 (23%) had antibody to hantavirus. No obvious association was found between hantavirus infection and feline immunodeficiency virus infection, feline leukaemia virus infection, cowpox infection or toxoplasma infection.