To assess the value of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection as a model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in man, we studied the impairment of certain immunological functions following natural or experimental FIV infection. Proliferative responses of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from symptomatic and asymptomatic cats after naturally or experimentally acquired FIV infection, induced by activation with the mitogens concanavalin A, pokeweed mitogen, or lipopolysaccharide or by stimulation with human interleukin-2 (IL-2), were significantly lower than the proliferative responses found with PBMC from noninfected control cats. Also IL-2 production levels of mitogen-activated PBMC from naturally infected symptomatic cats were significantly reduced. These data confirm that the pathogenesis of FIV infection in the cat, like HIV infection in man, is characterized by a serious malfunction of the immune system.

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AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Siebelink, K., Chu, I.-H., Rimmelzwaan, G., Weijer, K., van Herwijnen, R., Knell, P., … Osterhaus, A. (1990). Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection in the cat as a model for HIV infection in man: FIV induced impairment of immune function. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, 6(12), 1373–1378. Retrieved from