The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was applied for measurement of the proviral DNA copy number of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of cats experimentally and naturally infected with FIV. In experimentally infected cats except one cat infected with the Petaluma strain, FIV-specific DNAs were efficiently amplified with the PCR method under the conditions used in this study. In the naturally FIV-infected cats, the specific DNAs were also amplified. We established a quantitative method for measurement of proviral DNA copy number in PBMC from cats infected with TM2-type of FIV strains, and found that the number was variable among the six cats examined, ranging from 104.0 to 105.7 copies per 105 PBMCs. This method can be applicable to cats naturally infected with FIV of TM2-type. Proviral DNA quantitation developed here could be useful as an additional parameter to evaluate the relationships among the proviral load, immune response and development of the clinical symptoms, and to monitor efficacy of antiviral therapy in vivo.
- proviral DNA
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