Feline leukemia virus


Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a kind of retrovirus, just as is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Retroviruses produce reverse transcriptase, which allows them to insert their genetic material into the host cells they infect. FeLV is a member of the taxonomic family Oncovirinae, meaning they are capable of producing cancers in their hosts. However, they are also capable of producing other types of dramatic disease including degenerative, immunologic, and proliferative disorders.

FeLV is found across the globe, infecting domestic cats and several species of wild felines. In spite of ubiquitous use of FeLV vaccines, this virus remains a significant cause of mortality and illness in cats.


FeLV: Introduction

Electron microscopy image of feline leukemia virus particles.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Image Library