Date of Award

5-2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Comparative and Experimental Medicine

Major Professor

L.N.D. Potgieter

Abstract

Feline Calicivirus (FCV) is one of the most common causes of upper
respiratory tract disease in cats. Other disease syndromes associated with
FCV infection have been reported. Recently, calicivirus infections
associated with a hemorrhagic-like disease leading to significant mortality in
cats has been reported. The clinical signs are similar to those observed with
the Calicivirus of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease. This investigation
characterized two FCV isolates associated with hemorrhagic-like disease.
Nucleotide sequencing of the complete genome was done on these two
isolates and four isolates representing other disease syndromes. Previously
reported sequence data for the entire genome of classical FCV (six isolates)
and a portion of the capsid gene for hemorrhagic-like FCV (three isolates)
were used in the genetic analysis. Sequence data were used to determine
relationships among the isolates and any correlates with phenotype.
Nucleotide sequence comparisons of the entire genome and individual
ORF’s revealed high homology among all isolates. However, data from this
study suggest that the virulence may have genetic determinants as revealed
by phylogenetic clustering based on a specific 75 nucleotides stretch from
the capsid protein gene of the isolates associated with hemorrhagic-like
disease.

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