Replication-competent molecular clones of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) were isolated directly from the DNA of bone marrow cells of a naturally FIV-infected cat. After transfection in a feline kidney cell line (CrFK) and subsequent cocultivation with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), the viral progeny of the clones was infectious for PBMC but not for CrFK cells. PBMC infected with these clones showed syncytium formation, a decrease in cell viability, and gradual loss of CD4+ cells. The restriction maps of these clones differed from those obtained for previously described molecular clones of FIV derived from cats in the United States. The predicted amino acid sequence similarity of the envelope genes of the two clones was 99.3%, whereas the similarities of the sequences of the clones to those of two molecular clones from the United States, Petaluma and PPR, were 86 and 88%, respectively. Most of the differences between the amino acid sequences of the two clones and those of the clones from the United States were found in five different hypervariable (HV) regions, HV-1 through HV-5. The viral progeny of one of these clones was inoculated into two specific-pathogen-free cats. The animals seroconverted, and the virus could be reisolated from their PBMC.

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Journal of Virology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Siebelink, K., Chu, I.-H., Rimmelzwaan, G., Weijer, K., Osterhaus, A., & Bosch, M. (1992). Isolation and partial characterization of infectious molecular clones of feline immunodeficiency virus obtained directly from bone marrow DNA of a naturally infected cat. Journal of Virology, 66, 1091–1097. Retrieved from