Feline Host Range of Canine parvovirus: Recent Emergence of New Antigenic Types in Cats

Yasuhiro Ikeda, Kazuya Nakamura, Takayuki Miyazawa, Yukinobu Tohya, Eiji Takahashi,Masami Mochizuki


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2002;8(4) 

In This Article

Emergence of Mink enteritis virus and CPV Type 2 (CPV-2)

Infection by Feline parvovirus was thought only to occur in cats (Feline panleukopenia virus, FPLV) or raccoons until the mid-1940s, when a similar disease with a mortality of up to 80% was observed in infected mink kits in Canada [1]. The disease caused by the mink agent, named Mink enteritis virus (MEV), was thereafter observed throughout many regions of the world [2]. Since MEV was indistinguishable from FPLV by conventional methods such as serum-neutralization assay, MEV isolates have been differentiated from FPLV primarily on the basis of the host from which they are isolated. Using a panel of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs), we now classify FPLV and MEV isolates into three antigenic types, FPLV and MEV type 1 (MEV-1) group, MEV type 2 (MEV-2), and MEV type 3 [2,3] (Figure 1). MEV-1 and MEV-2 have repeatedly been isolated from the mink in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China ([2,3]; Y. Ikeda and M. Mochizuki, unpub. data).

Antigenic profile of feline parvoviruses, including Canine parvovirus 2c (CPV-2c) types. Subtype-specific monoclonal antibodies are used to type the viruses in a hemagglutinin-inhibition test (HI). Mink enteritis virus (MEV-3) shows similar patterns to MEV-2 [2]. FPLV = Feline panleukopenia virus; BFPV = blue fox parvovirus.

In the late 1970s, another virus emerged in dogs [4,5]. The new virus, designated CPV-2 to distinguish it from an unrelated Canine parvovirus (Canine minute virus), spread around the world within a few months [6,7]. CPV-2 spread rapidly, killing thousands of dogs. Polyclonal antibody and in vivo cross-protection studies soon showed that CPV and FPLV were closely related antigenically, while CPV-2 and FPLV were distinguishable from each other when examined with a panel of MAbs (Figure 1). Subsequent extensive genetic analysis of numerous CPV-2, FPLV, and MEV isolates showed that the viruses form two distinct clusters represented by FPLV-type viruses from cats (FPLV), raccoons, and mink (MEV), and by CPV-type viruses from dogs and raccoon dogs. At least 11 conserved nucleotide differences (7 nonsynonymous and 4 synonymous changes) were seen between CPV-2 isolates and FPLV-type viruses in the capsid VP2 sequence; in contrast, CPV and FPLV isolates differ in <2% of their genomic DNA sequences [8] (Figure 2; Table 1 ).

Conserved nucleotide differences between the Feline panleukopenia virus (FPLV)- and Canine parvovirus (CPV)-type viruses. Nucleotide positions in the VP2 gene are numbered above the sequences; BFPV = blue fox parvovirus.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.