Canine parvovirus-2 (CPV-2) is nearly indistinguishable from feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) and is a well-known cause of viral myocarditis in young puppies; however, it is not known whether either FPV or CPV-2 naturally infects feline cardiomyocytes and causes myocarditis. Endomyocarditis (EMC) and left ventricular endomyocardial fibrosis (LVEF), clinically known as “endomyocardial restrictive cardiomyopathy,” are important feline heart diseases suspected to have an infectious etiology. A continuum is suggested with EMC representing the acute reaction to an unknown infectious agent and LVEF the chronic manifestation of repair. The purpose of this study was to determine (1) whether there is natural parvovirus infection of the feline myocardium and (2) whether parvoviral infection is associated with feline EMC and/or LVEF. In a retrospective study, polymerase chain reaction and sequencing for the parvovirus VP1/2 gene was performed on archived heart tissue from cats with endomyocardial disease and controls. Similar methods were used prospectively on myocardial tissues from shelter-source kittens. Although 8 of 36 (22%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 11%–40%) shelter kittens had parvoviral DNA in myocardial tissue, VP1/2 DNA was not detected in 33 adult cases or 34 controls (95% CI, 0% to ∼11%). These findings were confirmed by in situ hybridization: adult cats did not have detectable parvovirus DNA, although rare intranuclear signal was confirmed in 7 of 8 shelter-source kittens. In kittens, parvovirus was not significantly associated with myocarditis, and in situ hybridization signal did not colocalize with inflammation. Although infection of cardiomyocytes was demonstrated in kittens, these data do not support a role for parvovirus in EMC-LVEF.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes