Discovery of drugs that possess activity against feline leukemia virus

Willie M. Greggs, Christine L Clouser, Steven Patterson, Louis M Mansky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a gammaretrovirus that is a significant cause of neoplastic-related disorders affecting cats worldwide. Treatment options for FeLV are limited, associated with serious side effects, and can be cost-prohibitive. The development of drugs used to treat a related retrovirus, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), has been rapid, leading to the approval of five drug classes. Although structural differences affect the susceptibility of gammaretroviruses to anti-HIV drugs, the similarities in mechanism of replication suggest that some anti-HIV-1 drugs may also inhibit FeLV. This study demonstrates the anti-FeLV activity of four drugs approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) at non-toxic concentrations. Of these, tenofovir and raltegravir are anti-HIV-1 drugs, while decitabine and gemcitabine are approved to treat myelodysplastic syndromes and pancreatic cancer, respectively, but also have anti-HIV-1 activity in cell culture. Our results indicate that these drugs may be useful for FeLV treatment and should be investigated for mechanism of action and suitability for veterinary use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)900-905
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2012


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