Feline syncytium-forming virus (FeSFV) is a member of the foamy virus GROUP (the Spumavirinae) in the family Retroviridae. FeSFV infection is extremely common in cats. The virus infects many cell types in many organs of the body, and is excreted in saliva.
Other spumaviruses have been isolated from many species but, unlike oncoviruses and lentiviruses, they do not appear to be pathogenic, although an involvement of FeSFV in feline polyarthritis has been suggested. Their main importance at present lies not in clinical medicine but as potential contaminants of cell cultures used in research and for vaccine production.
Back to menu