i question whether the terminology of carrier has any meaning at all,
actually. i suspect that it may actually be a leftover from the earliest
days when research into the virus was just starting, and was a working
hypothesis that hasn't ever actually been tested.

what makes me wonder about it is the very high rate of non-transmission in
mixed households, for one thing, as well as the fact that in sanctuary
settings, even with cats getting symptomatic and dying with sad regularity,
we're still finding a number of actually negatives in the populations from
when we didn't know we needed to retest. i just had a discussion recently
with a doc (human, but still) who doesn't think that throwing off one strain
of the virus would make a cat immune to the other strains, NOR that standard
virology explains how the continued exposure to the virus on an ongoing
basis would affect a cat. (i think she's using some older research where the
virus was GIVEN to cats, as opposed to it being acquired more naturally over
the "persistent, prolonged" period generally believed to be necessary...

so i wonder if the virus is actually being shed all the time when the cat is
asymptomatic--or is it just assumed to be?

we always say that an FeLV cat is just a normal cat until/if the virus is
activated--and that we don't really know what activates it. maybe, like the
mutation that turns the common FeCoV into FIP, there's an actual change in
the virus when it's activated, and THAT'S what is contagious? maybe an
asymptomatic cat sheds a more benign form of the virus?

i think, a lot, about chicken pox and shingles..... i do not sit around
defining myself as a carrier of the varicella virus, but , of course, i
am--as are most of us.  are we all shedding the virus because our systems
are harboring it? i think that the very terms, "carrier" and "shedding" are
more value-laden than informational--i know for me, they aren't
quantifiable, but surely do bring up the old stories of typhoid mary--and
the misinformation that continues to kill cats with FIV and isolate humans
with HIV.....

maybe some strains of the FeLV virus are more susceptible to activation than
others--just takes me back to what i keep repeating: until recently, the
majority of the research population has been euthanized, so we just do not
know enough.

and it's pretty damned scary when non-scientists seem to know more than
those who SHOULD be the experts, she says, grumbling.


On Thu, Apr 3, 2008 at 1:44 PM, Belinda Sauro <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

>   Yes that is my understanding also, she has the virus but it is dormant.
>  I think it just means she carries the virus (not disease) but doesn't get
> > sick.
> >
> > Gloria
> >
> --
> Belinda
> happiness is being owned by cats ...
> Be-Mi-Kitties
> http://www.bemikitties.com
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