Genetic analysis of feline panleukopenia virus full-length VP2 gene in domestic cats between 2006-2008 and 2012-2014, Portugal.
Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and canine parvovirus (CPV) are two closely related viruses, which cause acute gastroenteritis in carnivores, and cats may be infected by strains of both viruses. The viruses are found worldwide and may have changing host ranges and genetic variation that can be found around the world in some cases. Here, we screened a Portuguese population of cats by a conventional PCR assay for the presence of FPV/CPV viruses in faecal samples and tissues between 2006-2008 and 2012-2014. The sequence analysis of the complete VP2 gene showed that 18 of 31 animals tested were positive for FPV DNA, and no case of CPV infection was detected. The analysis of specific DNA detected three new non-synonymous substitutions in the VP2 gene that were found in single groups and were related to viruses reported elsewhere by phylogenetic analysis - some were related to Italian isolates, one was closely related to isolates from Vietnam and China, and two were related with older strains from the USA. The results of our study show that FPV circulated in the Portuguese cat population and as expected the found strains are slightly divergent from those reported previously.