Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Feline panleukopenia virus disease

Synonym(s): Parvovirus, FPV, feline infectious enteritis, FIE

Contributor(s): Stephen Barr, Severine Tasker, Kim Willoughby, Kerry Simpson


  • Cause: feline panleukopenia virus is a parvovirus.
  • Signs: fetus - abortion, cerebellar hypoplasia; young kittens (neonates, <3 weeks old) - cerebellar hypoplasia, sudden death; older kittens/cats - enteritis, panleukopenia.
  • Diagnosis: signs, history, hematology, detection of FPV antigen in feces, histopathology.
  • Treatment: nursing care, IV fluids, antibiotics, metoclopramide, omega interferon. Consider granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) transfusion if severely panleukopenic/anemic.
  • Prognosis: mortality 25-75%.



  • Feline panleukopenia virus Feline panleucopenia (parvo), a parvovirus.
  • In a few cases canine parvovirus strains (CPV ac, 2b and 2c) have been implicated.


  • Transmission by oronasal route   →  replicates in tissues of oropharynx  →   viremia  →  cytolytic replication in rapidly dividing cells:
    • Early fetus: teratologic changes leading to resorption, abortion or stillbirth.
    • Late fetus or neonate: external granular layer of cerebellum  →   cerebellar hypoplasia with incoordination and tremor.
    • Older kittens: epithelium of ileum and jejunum  →  disrupted epithelial lining  →   enteritis and diarrhea.
    • Cats: thymus, bone marrow, lymph nodes  →   leucopenia, thrombocytopenia and anemia.


  • FPV is a non-enveloped virus which is highly resistent in the environment where it can survive for many months.
  • Transmitted by direct contact or contact with contaminated environment (eg feed and water bowls, bedding, cages etc; aerosol transmission also possible.
  • Virus excreted in all body secretions/excretions.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jas D, Aeberlé C, Lacombe V et al (2009) Onset of immunity in kittens after vaccination with a on-adjuvanted vaccine against feline panleucopenia, feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus. Vet J 182 (1), 86-93 PubMed.
  • Truyen U, Addie D, Belák S et al (2009) Feline panleukopenia. ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. J Feline Med Surg 11 (7), 538-546 PubMed.
  • Paltinieri S, Crippa A, Comerio T et al (2007) Evaluation of inflammation and immunity in cats with spontaneous parvovirus infection: consequences of recombinant feline interferon-omega administration. Vet Immunol Immunopathol 118 (1-2), 68-74 PubMed.
  • Gamoh K, Senda M, Inoue Y et al (2005) Efficacy of an inactivated feline panleucopenia virus vaccine against a canine parvovirus isolated from a domestic cat. Vet Rec 157 (10), 285-287 PubMed.
  • Cave T A, Thompson H, Reid S W et al (2002) Kitten mortality in the United Kingdom: a retrospective analysis of 274 histopathological examinations (1986 to 2000). Vet Rec 151 (17), 497-501 PubMed.
  • Lappin M R, Andrews J, Simpson D et al (2002) Use of serologic tests to predict resistance to feline herpesvirus 1, feline calicivirus, and feline parvovirus infection in cats. JAVMA 220 (1), 38-42 PubMed.
  • Dawson S, Willoughby K, Gaskell R M et al (2001) A field trial to assess the effect of vaccination against feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirus and feline panleucopenia virus in 6-week-old kittens. J Feline Med Surg (1), 17-22 PubMed.
  • Nakamura K, Sakamoto M, Ikeda Y et al (2001) Pathogenic potential of canine parvovirus types 2a and 2c in domestic cats. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol (3), 663-668 PubMed.
  • Addie D D, Toth S, Thompson H et al (1998) Detection of feline parvovirus in dying pedigree kittens. Vet Rec 142 (14), 353-356 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Green C E (1998) Feline panleukopenia. In: Infectious diseases of the Dog and Cat. Ed: C E Greene, 2nd edn. Philadelphia:W B Saunders. pp 52-57.