Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a foamy retrovirus originally isolated from "cat or feline" species (Winkler et al. 1997; Bodem et al. 1996; Helps and Harbour 1997). FFV belongs to genus Spumaretrovirus within Retroviridae family (International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses -ICTV- Fauquet et al. 2005) and according to Llorens et al. 2009 is located within Class 3 of the Retroviridae family. Previous studies about the infection with FFV have indicated that seroprevalences of this foamy virus infection in domestic cats range between 7 and 100% (Bandecchi et al. 1992; Gaskin and Gillespie 1973; Lin et al. 1995; Yamamoto et al. 1989). Several natural modes of transmission include vertical transmission from queen to kitten (Hackett et al. 1970) and salivary transfer, either by the respiratory route (Gaskin and Gillespie 1973) or through aggressive behaviour such as biting (Pedersen 1986; Yamamoto et al. 1989). The study of Winkler et al. (1999) shows that FFV infection is believed to be spread through saliva, mainly by social licking between individuals (Johnson et al. 1988).

FFV genome is 10.4 Kb in size including LTRs. The internal region displays a Primer Binding Site (PBS), three Open Reading Frames (ORFs) for gag, pol and env genes characteristic of retroviruses, three accessory genes called Bel 1 (also called Tas), Bel 2 and Bet (which is the overlapped joint of the latter) as well as a Polypurine Tract (PPT) adjacent to the 3´LTR (Bodem et al. 1996; Bodem et al. 1998). These accessory genes are located downstream to env. FFV also has an internal promoter, which is required for the expression of the essential Bel 1 transactivator protein needed for viral gene expression (Winkler et al. 1999).



Figure not to scale. If present, long terminal repeats (LTRs) have been highlighted in blue. Amino acid motifs noted with lines indicate the conserved residues in each protein domain, abbreviations below mean:

MA=matrix PR=protease DU or DUT=dUTPase TM=transmembrane TAV or IBMP=transactivator/viroplasmin or inclusion body matrix protein
CA=capsid RT=reverse transcriptase INT=Integrase CHR=chromodomain
NC=nucleocapsid RH=RNaseH SU=surface MOV=movement protein
PPT=polypurine tract PBS=primer binding site ATF=aphid transmission factor VAP=virion associated protein

Related literature

Genbank accession: 9629925
Clade: Undetermined
Cluster or genus: Spumaretrovirus
Branch or class: Class 3
Family: Retrovirus
System: LTR retroelements
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Welcome to the Gypsy Database (GyDB) an open editable database about the evolutionary relationship of viruses, mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and the genomic repeats where we invite all authors to contribute with their knowledge to improve and expand the topics.
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Llorens, C., Futami, R., Covelli, L., Dominguez-Escriba, L., Viu, J.M., Tamarit, D., Aguilar-Rodriguez, J. Vicente-Ripolles, M., Fuster, G., Bernet, G.P., Maumus, F., Munoz-Pomer, A., Sempere, J.M., LaTorre, A., Moya, A. (2011) The Gypsy Database (GyDB) of Mobile Genetic Elements: Release 2.0 Nucleic Acids Research (NARESE) 39 (suppl 1): D70-D74 doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq1061

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