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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Calicivirus Infection in Cats

Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina; Hosie, Margaret J.; Hartmann, Katrin; Egberink, Herman; Truyen, Uwe; Tasker, Severine; Belak, Sandor; Boucraut-Baralon, Corine; Frymus, Tadeusz; Lloret, Albert; Marsilio, Fulvio; Pennisi, Maria Grazia; Addie, Diane D.; Lutz, Hans; Thiry, Etienne; Radford, Alan D.; Mostl, Karin


Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a common pathogen in domestic cats that is highly contagious, resistant to many disinfectants and demonstrates a high genetic variability. FCV infection can lead to serious or even fatal diseases. In this review, the European Advisory Board on Cat Diseases (ABCD), a scientifically independent board of experts in feline medicine from 11 European countries, presents the current knowledge of FCV infection and fills gaps with expert opinions. FCV infections are particularly problematic in multicat environments. FCV-infected cats often show painful erosions in the mouth and mild upper respiratory disease and, particularly in kittens, even fatal pneumonia. However, infection can be associated with chronic gingivostomatitis. Rarely, highly virulent FCV variants can induce severe systemic disease with epizootic spread and high mortality. FCV can best be detected by reverse-transcriptase PCR. However, a negative result does not rule out FCV infection and healthy cats can test positive. All cats should be vaccinated against FCV (core vaccine); however, vaccination protects cats from disease but not from infection. Considering the high variability of FCV, changing to different vaccine strain(s) may be of benefit if disease occurs in fully vaccinated cats. Infection-induced immunity is not life-long and does not protect against all strains; therefore, vaccination of cats that have recovered from caliciviral disease is recommended.


FCV; feline; multicat environment; genetic variability; virulent systemic; diagnosis; vaccination; vaccine strains; tenacity; treatment

Published in

2022, volume: 14, number: 5, article number: 937
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Hofmann-Lehmann, Regina
University of Zurich
Hosie, Margaret J.
University of Glasgow
Hartmann, Katrin
University of Munich
Egberink, Herman
Utrecht University
Truyen, Uwe
Leipzig University
Tasker, Severine
University of Bristol
Belák, Sándor (Belak, Sandor)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health
Boucraut-Baralon, Corine
Scanelis Lab
Frymus, Tadeusz
Warsaw University of Life Sciences
Lloret, Albert
Autonomous University of Barcelona
Marsilio, Fulvio
University of Teramo
Pennisi, Maria Grazia
University of Messina
Addie, Diane D.
University of Glasgow
Lutz, Hans
University of Zurich
Thiry, Etienne
University of Liege
Radford, Alan D.
University of Liverpool
Mostl, Karin
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

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