Avian H5N1 influenza in cats

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From: Science(Vol. 306, Issue 5694)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 836 words
Lexile Measure: 1550L

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The relationship between avian influenza A virus and its hosts has changed markedly in recent years, with important consequences for human health (1). The most recent example is the 2003 to 2004 avian influenza A (H5N1) virus outbreak in Asia, which not only caused vast mortality in poultry, but also resulted in 39 officially reported cases of direct bird-to-human transmission, of which 28 were fatal (2). During this outbreak, there were also anecdotal reports of fatal H5N1 virus infection in domestic cats and zoo felids after they had fed on virus-infected chickens (3). This is unusual, because domestic cats are generally considered to be resistant to disease from influenza A virus infection (4).

To determine the pathogenicity of this virus for domestic cats, we experimentally infected 4- to 6-month-old European Shorthair cats with H5N1 virus by different routes and examined them by virological and pathological techniques. Each group of cats was placed in a separate, negatively pressurized isolator.

First, we intratracheally inoculated three cats with 2.5 x [10.sup.4] times the median tissue culture infectious dose (TCI[D.sub.50]) of a H5N1 virus isolated from a fatal human case in Vietnam (A/Vietnam/1194/04). The cats showed clinical signs, including significantly raised body temperature from 1 day post-infection (dpi) onwards (P < 0.05, one-way...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A123576734