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October 12, 1994

Hantavirus Infection in the Domestic Cat

Author Affiliations

Veterinary University of Vienna Vienna, Austria
University of Vienna Vienna, Austria
National Veterinary Institute Graz, Austria

JAMA. 1994;272(14):1100-1101. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03520140030020

To the Editor.  —Recently we have presented serological evidence that domestic cats are susceptible to Hantavirus infection.1 Five percent of cats that had been allowed to roam outside and to hunt showed antibodies to the European Puumala serotype of Hantavirus. Our serological findings are in accordance with the results found in British cats in a study by Bennett et al,2 which found an even higher prevalence of feline infection in some regions (up to 23%, with a mean of 9.6%). The severity of hantaviral disease in humans encouraged us to obtain more data on feline Hantavirus infection, especially as a Hantavirus species was recently found to be the cause of a highly fatal pulmonary syndrome in North America.3,4We therefore looked by immunofluorescence for Hantavirus antigen in the lungs and kidneys of 100 domestic cats that had been received for necropsy from 1991 to 1994. For our