Feline herpesvirus

Vet Res. Mar-Apr 2007;38(2):337-54. doi: 10.1051/vetres:2006063. Epub 2007 Feb 13.


Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1; felid herpesvirus 1 (FeHV-1)) is an alphaherpesvirus of cats closely related to canine herpesvirus-1 and phocine herpesvirus-1. There is only one serotype of the virus and it is relatively homogenous genetically. FeHV-1 is an important cause of acute upper respiratory tract and ocular disease in cats. In addition, its role in more chronic ocular disease and skin lesions is increasingly being recognised. Epidemiologically, FeHV-1 behaves as a typical alphaherpesvirus whereby clinically recovered cats become latently infected carriers which undergo periodic episodes of virus reactivation, particularly after a stress. The primary site of latency is the trigeminal ganglion. Conventional inactivated and modified-live vaccines are available and protect reasonably well against disease but not infection, although viral shedding may be reduced. Genetically engineered vaccines have also been developed, both for FeHV-1 and as vector vaccines for other pathogens, but none is as yet marketed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alphaherpesvirinae / pathogenicity
  • Alphaherpesvirinae / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / virology*
  • Cats / virology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / prevention & control
  • Herpesviridae Infections / therapy
  • Herpesviridae Infections / veterinary*