Feline herpesvirus 1 (FeHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV), associated with upper respiratory tract disease, are highly prevalent in cats worldwide. With the aim of investigating the importance of FeHV-1 in a population of cats, samples were taken in a hospital in Ahvaz, south-west Iran, between June 2007 and June 2008. Oropharyngeal, nasal and ocular swabs were collected from 65 domestic cats, including 52 stray and
13 household animals and were tested for the presence of FeHV-1 DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
The overall prevalence rate of FeHV-1 was 35.38%. There was a statistically significant association between
the prevalence rate of FeHV-1 and the presence of respiratory signs. High prevalence of FeHV-1 infection
strengthens the importance of applying hygienic and preventive measures in cats in the study area.