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Changes in prevalence of progressive feline leukaemia virus infection in cats with lymphoma in Germany.

Germany sees drop in lymphoma linked to Feline leukaemia virus

K. Meichner, B.D. Kruse, J. Hirschberger, K. Hartmann
Veterinary Record vol 171 no 14, October 2012, doi:10.1136/vr.100813.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) can be life-threatening for cats, and is an important risk factor for cats developing lymphoma tumours. This German study has found a drop in cases of lymphoma linked to FeLV. The study compared cases of feline lymphoma occurring between 1980 and 1994, and between 1995 and 2009. There was a drop in lymphomas linked to FeLV infection from 59% in the years from 1980 to 1994 to 13% in the period from 1995 to 2009. This is similar to trends seen for FeLV infection linked to lymphoma in the USA, Netherlands, Australia and UK. Rates of infection with FeLV have also dropped in the cat population as a whole in these countries.

This drop in FeLV infection could be linked to vaccinations, first offered in the 1990s, as well as testing cats for infection, and separating infected cats from others so they did not transmit the disease. This study shows that it is worth carrying out research on diseases, and working to prevent them, with measurable benefits.