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

Host Range of FPLV- and CPV-Type Viruses

The host ranges of FPLV- and CPV-type viruses have been extensively studied in vitro. In general, CPV-type viruses replicate efficiently in feline and canine cell lines, while most FPLV and FPLV-like viruses can replicate efficiently only in feline cells [11,25,26,27]. Subsequent recombination mapping and site-directed mutagenesis experiments have clearly shown that the VP2 gene (including the differences of VP2 residues 93, 103, and 323; Table 1 ) is important in controlling canine host range, although a part of the nonstructural NS gene of CPV also participates in FPLV replication in canine cells [27,28]. Recently, Ikeda et al. [11] reported a unique FPLV isolate from a domestic cat, which could replicate efficiently in a canine cell line. Interestingly, this isolate was antigenically FPLV-type but had a natural mutation of VP2 residue 323 Asp to CPV-specific Asn, supporting previous site-directed mutagenesis studies. Moreover, FPLV-type virus actually has the potential to acquire canine host range by natural mutation, although phylogenetic analyses indicate that the isolate is unlikely to be a direct ancestor of CPV-2 [11].

The in vivo host ranges of FPLV and CPV seem to be more complicated. FPLV can replicate in feline tissues, such as lymph nodes, thymus, spleen, or intestinal epithelial cells, and high titers of virus are shed in feces. In dogs, however, FPLV replication is seen only in the thymus and bone marrow, not in the gut or mesenteric lymph nodes [26], resulting in no virus shedding in feces [29]. In terms of viral evolution, the CPV ancestor had only to gain the ability to infect the gut in order to be shed and spread in the dog population [26]. Indeed, Mochizuki et al. [30] report the isolation of FPLV-type virus from diarrheic feces of a clinically diseased dog. Although the reason why the antigenically FPLV-type virus could gain canine host range remains to be determined, the virus possibly had some genetic mutation(s) that did not change its antigenic properties yet rendered the virus able to infect canine gut cells.

Until recently, the feline host range of CPV has been controversial. Goto et al. report that CPV replicates in cats in a pattern similar to FPLV [31]; other studies find no detectable CPV replication in any feline tissue [26,32]. This discrepancy, however, is due to the antigenic differences of the examined viruses. The virus (Kushiro strain) used in the first study [31] was shown to be CPV-2a [27], whereas the other studies used CPV-2 [26,32]. Truyen et al. [33] directly compared the feline host ranges among CPV-2, CPV-2a and CPV-2b and showed efficient replication of both CPV-2a and CPV-2b in experimentally infected cats. CPV-2a and CPV-2b isolates replicate to high titers in lymphoid and intestinal tissues, while the CPV-2 isolate used in this study did not replicate in experimentally infected animals [33].


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