Prevalence of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) infection was
measured during 6
consecutive years in a natural rural population of domestic cats.
Sex, age, weight, origin, group
size and presence of antibodies to FIV were recorded for each sampled cat.
were used to estimate the influence of the recorded parameters on infection.
rates are as high as 19·6% in the total population, and do
not statistically change between
years, after controlling for changes in samples' age structure.
FIV infection is characterized by
risk factors linked to aggressive behaviour: old mature male adults having
dispersed are more
likely to be infected. A study of the cats group size and of the
spatial distribution of infected
individuals indicates the absence of infection clusters in males,
and suggests the importance of
roaming in the spreading of FIV. In conclusion, FIV infection spreads,
contagiousness, mainly between particularly aggressive individuals, and
the virus is endemic in