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Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome (FIDS) in Cats

Feline immunodeficiency syndrome, an important viral infection of felines caused by Lentivirus is characterised by slow onset and long incubation period lasting several years. The disease has a close resembelance with Human Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HAIDS) in its manifestation and pathogenesis.


Though the virus has been discoverd as late as 1987, the disease is known by now to occur through out the world as evidence by serological surveys. Serosurveillance indicated the presence of antibodies in bob cat, puma, tiger, jagaur, and African lion.


Lentivirus Belonging to RNA group resembling Retovirus but the nucleocapsid of the virion is cylindrical and the genome is larger than other Retro viruses.


  • Biting wounds- as saliva is highly infective
  • Concommitant infection with feline panleukaemia virus

Clinical Signs of FIDS
FIDS is disease of slow onset and long duration. There are evidences that the incubation period lasts for several years. The common signs are-

  • Leucopenia
  • Wasting
  • Anemia
  • Lymphadenopathy
  • Recurrent fever

T-helper cell population get very much depleted resulting in marked immunodeficiency. The lesions noticed inother organs are ascribed to secondary complications.


  • ELISA test to detect antibodies
  • Virus isolation
  • Viral genome can be detected in leucocytes of peripheral blood by PCR
  • Immunochromatographic screening test to detect FIDS virus

Specimens to be sent to Lab

  • Lymphnodes
  • Blood serum
  • Peripheral Leucocytes

Prevention and Control

In order to contain the disease among your cats, serosurveillance accompanied by seggregation found to be useful to some extent. There is no vaccine for control FIDS.


The vet will give symptomatic non-specific treatment to minimise the clinical signs of Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The affected cats may be treated with specific drugs such as Azidothymidine directed against transcriptase.

A recent research on Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome in cats confirms that Low-dose interferon-alpha treatment prolongs the life of FIDS infected cats.

For Further readings:-

Help prevent the spread of FIDS ~ please neuter your cat