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Virulent Systemic Feline Calicivirus

Due to the variant nature of RNA viruses there is a potential for a large number of strains to exist.  The most common strains are associated with upper respiratory symptoms and are in generally mild in nature.  Recently, more severe infections have been attributed to a strain of feline calicivirus that has been called virulent systemic calicivirus.  The symptoms related to this strain are severe ulcerations of the mouth, nose, muzzle and paw pads and a high fever.  The virulent systemic strain of the virus has been found to infect the endothelium as well as the epithelial cells of the respiratory mucosa and oral cavity, whereas the mild form of the calicivirus only infects the epithelial cells.  This explains why the ulceration in the virulent systemic strain is more severe, as deeper cell layers are affected by the virus.  This condition is still fairly uncommon, but it is an emerging concern as several outbreaks of this strain have occurred.

New Treatment Possibility for Feline Calicivirus
An enzyme called amidohydrolase asparageinase has been found to treat feline calicivirus by inhibiting replication of the virus.  Preliminary research has suggested that an adequate amount of asparageinase may reduce viral load, prevent infection and reinfection , reduce spread of virus and reduce the symptoms of infection. The exact mechanism of how asparageinase halts calicivirus replication is yet to be found, but as new strains of the virus emerge, development of new treatment is a much anticipated area of research