Prevalence of Feline Calicivirus in cats with Chronic Gingivitis Stomatitis and potential risk factors
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Feline chronic gingivitis stomatitis (FCGS) is an inflammatory disease of the gingiva, oral mucosa and the pharynx in cats. There have been many speculations about the cause of this disease, including bacterial, viral and immunologic causes, but most likely the aetiology is multi factorial. Since the Feline Calicivirus (FCV) probably plays a causative role, this study investigated the prevalence of FCV in cats with FCGS. Three groups were formed, namely a group of 44 cats with FCGS, a control group of 49 cats and a group of 16 cats with other dental problems (i.e. periodontitis, ankylosis and/or replacement resorption). From each cat the presence of FCV and Feline Herpesvvirus-1 (FHV) was established by viral isolation from oropharyngeal swabs and information about living conditions and clinical history were obtained. The prevalence of FCV in the FCGS group and in the group of cats with other dental problems was 95.5% and 37.5% respectively, against 4.1% in the control group. The prevalence of FHV was however very low in all three groups (0-6.3%). In total 14 potential risk factors were analysed in an uni- and multivariable analysis. Positive statistical significant (P≤0.05) associations with, i.e. risk factors for FCGS, were the male sex (OR=4.1), purebreds (OR=25.2), and visitation at the pet shelter (OR=9.4). In addition, cats in the age category of <1 year were less likely to have FCGS (OR=0.031) compared to cats older than 12 years. All cats with a history of acute oral respiratory disease (AORD) had FCGS (100%). Purebreds are also predisposed for other dental problems. Risk factors for carrying FCV were; other cats in the household (OR=6.9), visitation at the pet shelter (OR=4.2) and a history of AORD (OR=126.1). In addition, cats in the age categories of 1-3 years (OR=14.4) and 3-6 years were more likely to shed FCV (OR=19.2) compared to cats over 12 years of age.