FIV VACCINE WINS APPROVAL
~ Great news for cat owners!
The United States Department of Agriculture recently
approved commercial production and veterinary use of
a vaccine for feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV),
which is very similar to human immunodeficiency
"This vaccine offers the first effective protection for
cats against this often fatal disease," said Niels
Pedersen, director of the Center for Companion Animal
The vaccine is expected to go into use during the
summer. Inoculations, which will provide protection for
at least one year, are expected to cost between $25 and
The discovery of the vaccine by University of Florida
College of Veterinary Medicine immunologist Janet K.
Yamamoto came after more than 10 years of research.
Yamamoto and Pederson discovered FIV while
working together on the Davis campus of the University
of California in 1986. The virus is found in the saliva of infected cats, and therefore is often transmitted by biting.
Among the symptoms, which can take up to 10 years to
appear, are diarrhea, weight loss, fever and swollen
lymph nodes. Infected cats may recover, but will be
carriers of the virus for the rest of their lives.
© 2002 Animal News Center, Inc.