Feline herpesvirus type 1 infection affects domestic cats, causing mainly upper respiratory tract diseases. Although this infection has been described in captive and free-ranging wild felids from Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa, no information is available on its occurrence among wild felids of Brazil. In this study, 250 serum samples of six species of Brazilian captive wild felids (Leopardus tigrinus, Leopardus wiedii, Herpailurus yaguarondi, Puma concolor, Leopardus pardalis, and Panthera onca) were examined for neutralizing antibodies to feline herpesvirus type 1. Positive sera were found in 72% of L. tigrinus samples, 15% of L. wiedii, 6% of L. pardalis, 8% of H. yaguarondi, 18% of P. concolor, and 14% of P. onca. The relatively low percentages of seropositivity and low antibody titers found among the last five species suggest that feline herpesvirus type 1 does not circulate extensively among these animals. Nevertheless, quarantine, serologic screening, and vaccination of newly introduced felids is recommended in zoos in order to prevent virus transmission and outbreaks of the disease among wild felids kept in captivity.
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Vol. 36 • No. 3