Hellard E.,CNRS Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory |
Fouchet D.,CNRS Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory |
Santin-Janin H.,CNRS Biometry and Evolutionary Biology Laboratory |
Tarin B.,Laboratoire Of Lyon Gerland |
And 5 more authors.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2011
In natural populations, virus circulation is influenced by host behavior and physiological characteristics. Cat populations exhibit a great variability in social and spatial structure, the existence of different ways of life within a same population may also result in different epidemiological patterns. To test this hypothesis, we used a logistic regression to analyze the risk factors of Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline herpes virus (FHV), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline parvovirus (FPV) infection in owned (fed and sheltered) and unowned (neither fed nor sheltered, unsocialized) cats living in a rural environment in the North Eastern part of France. A serological survey was carried out in 492 non-vaccinated and non-sterilized individuals from 15 populations living in the same area. The prevalence of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) was also studied, but too few were infected to analyze the risk factors of this virus. For each virus, the epidemiological pattern was different in owned and unowned cats. Unowned cats were more frequently infected by directly transmitted viruses like FIV, FHV and FCV (21.22%, 67.66%, 86.52% in unowned cats vs 9.55%, 53.88%, 77.18% in owned cats, respectively), a difference that may be explained by a more solitary and more aggressive behavior in unowned adults, and/or possibly by a higher sensitivity related to a more stressful life. On the contrary, owned cats were more frequently infected with FPV (36.41% in owned cats vs 15.61% in unowned cats), possibly as a result of their concentration around human settlements. The present study showed that owned and unowned cats living in a same area have behavioral and physiological characteristics sufficiently different to influence virus circulation. Pooling different types of cats in a single sample without taking it into account could give a wrong picture of the epidemiology of their viruses. The conclusion of this work can be extended to any epidemiological studies led in wildlife species with flexible behavior as any variations in social or spatial structure, between or within populations, could result in different virus circulation. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.