J Vet Sci.  2021 Sep;22(5):e73. 10.4142/jvs.2021.22.e73.

Prevalence of feline calicivirus and the distribution of serum neutralizing antibody against isolate strains in cats of Hangzhou, China

  • 1Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Animal Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
  • 2College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, Tai'an 271000, China
  • 3Key Laboratory of Applied Technology on Green-Eco-Healthy Animal Husbandry of Zhejiang Province, Zhejiang Provincial Engineering Laboratory for Animal Health Inspection & Internet Technology, College of Animal Science and Technology & College of Veterinary Medicine of Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300, China
  • 4Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Center for Veterinary Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
  • 5MOA Key Laboratory of Animal Virology, Center for Veterinary Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China


Feline calicivirus (FCV) is a common pathogen of felids, and FCV vaccination is regularly practiced. The genetic variability and antigenic diversity of FCV hinder the effective control and prevention of infection by vaccination. Improved knowledge of the epidemiological characteristics of FCV should assist in the development of more effective vaccines.
This study aims to determine the prevalence of FCV in a population of cats with FCV-suspected clinical signs in Hangzhou and to demonstrate the antigenic and genetic relationships between vaccine status and representative isolated FCV strains.
Cats (n = 516) from Hangzhou were investigated between 2018 and 2020. The association between risk factors and FCV infection was assessed. Phylogenetic analyses based on a capsid coding sequence were performed to identify the genetic relationships between strains. In vitro virus neutralization tests were used to assess antibody levels against isolated FCV strains in client-owned cats.
The FCV-positive rate of the examined cats was 43.0%. Risk factors significantly associated with FCV infection were vaccination status and oral symptoms. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a radial phylogeny with no evidence of temporal or countrywide clusters. There was a significant difference in the distribution of serum antibody titers between vaccinated and unvaccinated cats.
This study revealed a high prevalence and genetic diversity of FCV in Hangzhou. The results indicate that the efficacy of FCV vaccination is unsatisfactory. More comprehensive and refined vaccination protocols are an urgent and unmet need.


Feline calicivirus; vaccine; risk factors; phylogeny; cross-neutralization
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