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May 01, 2021

In Short

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Updated May 4, 2021

Cats with FeLV survive much longer if they have less p27 antigen, proviral DNA

Collared pet catIn cats infected with feline leukemia virus, p27 antigen concentration and number of proviral DNA copies have been associated with the course of infection. A new study found that cats with high p27 antigen concentration and a high number of proviral DNA copies survived a median of 1.37 years from enrollment, whereas 93.1% of low-positive cats were still alive after four years.

The study, published in February in the journal Viruses, was conducted by researchers at Idexx Laboratories Inc.; Austin Pets Alive in Austin, Texas; and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.

The researchers enrolled 254 cats that were tested for p27 antigen and proviral DNA with Idexx tests. The 127 FeLV-positive cats were retested monthly for six months and monitored for survival over the four-year study.

Samples were analyzed to establish cutoff values. A significant difference in survival was observed when the cutoff values were applied to test results at enrollment to classify cats as high positive or low positive.

Last year, the American Association of Feline Practitioners updated its Feline Retrovirus Testing and Management Guidelines.

Man sentenced for selling performance-enhancing drugs for racehorses

Scott Robinson of Tampa, Florida, was sentenced to 18 months in prison exactly a year after he and others were indicted for participating in a widespread horse-doping scheme.

Robinson pleaded guilty on Sept. 16, 2020, to sourcing chemicals used to create custom performance-enhancing drugs intended for racehorses and shipping those drugs to customers across the country. Among the drugs were blood builders to increase red blood cell counts and customized analgesics to deaden a horse’s nerves and block pain.

“Scott Robinson created and profited from a system designed to exploit racehorses in the pursuit of speed and prize money, risking their safety and wellbeing,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a March 9 Justice Department statement. “Robinson sold unsanitary, misbranded, and adulterated drugs, and misled and deceived regulators and law enforcement in the process.”

From 2011 until early 2020, Robinson worked with others to manufacture, sell, and ship millions of dollars’ worth of adulterated and misbranded equine drugs. He sold these drugs through several direct-to-consumer websites designed to appeal to racehorse trainers and owners.

Robinson forfeited nearly $4 million and will be under supervised release for three years after getting out of prison.

Mizzou’s veterinary college receives $11M

An $11 million contribution to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine will establish the Dr. Glenn R. and Nancy A. Linnerson Imaging Center, which will further comparative and translational medicine research at MU.

The estate gift, announced March 8 by the university, came from the late Dr. Linnerson (Missouri ’54) and his wife, Nancy Linnerson, who graduated with a degree in human environmental sciences from Mizzou the same year. It is the single largest gift in the veterinary college’s history, according to a university press release.

“Together with the MU Research Reactor and the upcoming NextGen Precision Health building, these facilities will help accelerate new pharmaceutical drugs and biomedical devices to improve patient care,” said Mun Choi, PhD, University of Missouri president, in the release.

The Linnersons were passionate about comparative and translational medicine, with a particular interest in prostate cancer and comparative oncology.

“The imaging equipment that this endowment will allow us to acquire will not only improve diagnostic capabilities for treating animal patients, but also has the potential to capitalize on Mizzou’s existing strengths and resources, like the MU Research Reactor, to expand medical studies,” said Kevin Lunceford, supervisor of the Veterinary Health Center’s radiology service, in the release. “Simply put, this gift will save lives.”

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Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to Scott Robinson as a veterinarian. He is not one.