Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a lentivirus that infects domestic cats (Felis catus). The hallmark of FIV infection is a gradual depletion of T-lymphocytes which ultimately results in an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) similar to AIDS caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). A particular quality from FIV infection is the large degree of viral genetic diversity that can develop within an infected individual and the even greater and continually increasing level of diversity among virus isolates form different individuals. Understanding of molecular biology of infectious agents is also essential for more specific and sensitive laboratory diagnosis and possibly for a future vaccine development as well as for molecular epidemiology studies. Our goal this study will be to determine patterns of FIV genetic diversity from São Paulo, Brazil. To investigate the genetic diversity of Brazilian isolates of FIV we are going to evaluate sequences of isolates of FIV in a shelter, from São Paulo. As a framework for analysis, we are using sequences from a segment of the region of the gag and env genes.
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