[Frontiers in Bioscience 7, d504-518, Feburary 1, 2002]
INFECTIONS OF FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS AND FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS
Research Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, 3-1 Yamadaoka, Suita-city, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Feline retrovirus infections have been extensively studied for more than 30 years as an animal model for the persistent infections and pathogenesis caused by retroviruses in general. Two retroviruses, feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), have been recognized as causative agents of a variety of diseases including proliferative and degenerative diseases. Recent studies revealed the receptors of FeLV, its variants and FIV. FeLVs utilize at least three distinct receptors, two of which have been successfully cloned and characterized. Furthermore, an FeLV variant which induces severe immunodeficiency, utilizes a truncated envelope of the endogenous FeLV as coreceptor or cofactor for viral entry. FIV utilizes as receptor one of the chemokine receptors, CXCR4 which also is a coreceptor for the T-lymphotropic human immunodeficiency virus. This review provides an overview to the infections of FeLV and FIV, specifically focuses on the viral genomic structures, FeLV variants, the immune responses and recent findings on the receptors for FeLV and FIV. Better understanding of retroviral persistence and pathogenesis will aid the development of prophylactic vaccines and therapeutic medicine to interfere with retrovirus infections.