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. MC 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 > > HostDesign4U.com [affordable hosting & web design] > http://www.hostdesign4u.com > > ForYouByUs.com [custom printing] > http://www.foryoubyus.com > > > -- Spay & Neuter Your Neighbors! Maybe That'll Make The Difference.... MaryChristine AIM / YAHOO: TenHouseCats MSN: [EMAIL PROTECTED] ICQ: 289856892