Pathologic, immunohistochemical, and electron microscopic findings in naturally occurring virulent systemic feline calicivirus infection in cats

Patricia Pesavento, Nigel J Maclachlan, L. Dillard-Telm, C. K. Grant, K. F. Hurley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Scopus citations


Infection with feline calicivirus (FCV) is a common cause of upper respiratory and oral disease in cats. FCV infection is rarely fatal, however, virulent, systemic strains of FCV (VS-FCV) that cause alopecia, cutaneous ulcers, subcutaneous edema, and high mortality in affected cats have recently been described. Seven cats with natural VS-FCV infection all had subcutaneous edema and ulceration of the oral cavity, with variable ulceration of the pinnae, pawpads, nares, and skin. Other lesions that were present in some affected cats included bronchointerstitial pneumonia, and pancreatic, hepatic, and splenic necrosis. Viral antigen was present within endothelial and epithelial cells in affected tissues as determined by immunohistochemical staining with a monoclonal antibody to FCV. Mature intranuclear and intracytoplasmic virions in necrotic epithelial cells were identified by transmission electron microscopy. VS-FCV infection causes epithelial cell cytolysis and systemic vascular compromise in susceptible cats, leading to cutaneous ulceration, severe edema, and high mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2004



  • Cats
  • Dermatosis
  • Edema
  • Electron microscopy
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pneumonia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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