Feline paramyxoviruses are found all over the world. They are suspected of being involved in chronic diseases of the urinary tract in domestic cats. Research at our institute led to the discovery of new paramyxoviruses in cats. The diversity of these viruses and their molecular pathogenesis are the focus of research at the Institute of Virology.

Dargestellt sind verschiedene Forschungsergebnisse im Rahmen der Forschung an felinen Paramyxoviren
The interactions of feline paramyxoviruses with their host cells and the resulting pathology are investigated at our institute using a variety of methods.

research on feline paramyxoviruses

Epidemiology of Paramyxoviruses in Wildlife Species

Subject

The research project investigates the prevalence of (new) paramyxoviruses in wild animals.

 

Summary

Paramyxoviruses are widespread in many species and can cause serious infections. Due to their very high infectivity, epidemic outbreaks can occur in unprotected populations, resulting in a great importance of these viruses in veterinary medical regards. Outbreaks of paramyxovirus infections in pets and farm animals are often due to contact with wild animals or their excreta. For this reason, wildlife monitoring is crucial for the prevention of infections in these species.

Within this research project, indigenous and globally occurring wild animals are examined for (new) paramyxoviruses. In the further course of the analyses, these viruses will be characterized more precisely and their pathogenic potential determined. The focus of this work is on paramyxoviruses in dog and cat predators (Canoidea and Feloidea). The project is carried out in close cooperation with the Institute for Veterinary Pathology of the VMF Leipzig and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin.

 

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Vahlenkamp

 

Participating employees

Dr. Michael Sieg

M. Sc. Johannes Busch

 

Cooperations

Dr. Denny Böttcher, Institute for Veterinary Pathology, VMF, University Leipzig

Dr. Bettina Wachter, Leibniz-Institut of Zoo- and Wildlife Research (IZW), Berlin

Dr. Javier Millán, Andrés Bello National University, Santiago de Chile, Chile

 

Funding

budget-financed research

 

Publications

Sacristan, I., M. Sieg, F. Acuna, E. Aguilar, S. Garcia, M. J. Lopez, A. Cevidanes, E. Hidalgo-Hermoso, J. Cabello, T. W. Vahlenkamp, J. Millan, E. Poulin, and C. Napolitano. 2019. Molecular and serological survey of carnivore pathogens in free-roaming domestic cats of rural communities in southern Chile. The Journal of veterinary medical science 81:1740–1748.

Molecular pathogenesis of feline morbilliviruses

Subject

The research project investigates the molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of feline morbilliviruses in domestic cats.

 

Summary

Infections with paramyxoviruses are of great importance in the field of small animal medicine. The distemper disease in dogs is caused by the canine morbilli virus (distemper virus, CDV).

A closely related virus to this pathogen (felines morbillivirus, FeMV) was first described in cats in China a few years ago (2012) and seems to be associated with chronic kidney diseases. Our investigations confirmed the prevalence of these viruses in native cat populations and for the first time revealed the high diversity of these pathogens.

However, the contribution of FeMV infections to the development of acute and chronic kidney diseases in cats has not yet been clarified. Together with our industrial partner, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH, we are therefore investigating the interaction of feline morbilliviruses with different feline cells and tissues. In addition to classical molecular-biological techniques, we use innovative methods from primary cell culture in order to reproduce the situation of natural infections in cats as accurately as possible.

The project is carried out in close cooperation with the Institute of Veterinary Pathology and the Clinic for Small Animals of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Project manager

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Vahlenkamp

 

Participating employees

Dr. Michael Sieg

M. Sc. Johannes Busch

 

Cooperations

Prof. Dr. Romy Heilmann, Klinik für Kleintiere, VMF, Universität Leipzig

 

Patent

PCT/EP2017/071392: NEW PARAMYXOVIRUS AND USES THEREOF

 

Publications

Busch, J., I. Sacristán, A. Cevidanes, J. Millán, T. W. Vahlenkamp, C. Napolitano, and M. Sieg. 2020. High seroprevalence of feline morbilliviruses in free-roaming domestic cats in Chile. Archives of virology.

Sieg, M., Busch, J., Eschke, M., Böttcher, D., Heenemann, K., Vahlenkamp, A., ... & Vahlenkamp, T. W. (2019). A New Genotype of Feline Morbillivirus Infects Primary Cells of the Lung, Kidney, Brain and Peripheral Blood. Viruses, 11(2), 146.

Sieg, M., Vahlenkamp, A., Baums, C. G., & Vahlenkamp, T. W. (2018). First Complete Genome Sequence of a Feline Morbillivirus Isolate from Germany. Genome Announc., 6(16), e00244-18.

Sieg, M., Heenemann, K., Rückner, A., Burgener, I., Oechtering, G., & Vahlenkamp, T. W. (2015). Discovery of new feline paramyxoviruses in domestic cats with chronic kidney disease. Virus Genes, 51(2), 294-297.

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