A research study, funded by Morris Animal Foundation, at the University of Sydney, have discovered a previously unknown virus in a cat. The virus in question is hepadnavirus and it was discovered in an immunocompromised cat. This led the researchers to test all the stored feline blood and subsequently found the virus there too.

The study is published in the journal “Viruses”.

Dr. Julia Beatty, a professor of feline medicine at the University of Sydney, says that this virus in cats is similar to the hepatitis B virus in humans, belongs to the same family of viruses. Up until now, they didn’t even know that felines can get infections like these.

Similar viruses can also cause hepatitis and cancer in other domestic species, but at the moment there is no place for concern about human health.

Discovering a new virus that can deteriorate the health of a species is the first step towards a bigger research, and that is discovering a functional vaccine.

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