Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Coats, Kerry

Committee Member

Wise, Dwayne

Committee Member

Pharr, Gregory

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Biological Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biological Sciences


The role that amniotic fluid (AF) may play in HIV vertical infection is unresolved. We used the FIV-infected cat model to study this question. We hypothesized that AF may be a source of fetal infection if the virus is present in the fluids. However, virus neutralizing (VN) antibodies in AF may limit vertical transfer. Fetuses were delivered from FIV-infected queens by cesarean section at early and late gestation. AFs were aspirated from intact fetal membranes and tested for viral antigen and RNA and for FIV-specific antibody. Randomlyselected samples were tested for VN activity using a syncytium reduction assay. Neither FIV antigen nor RNA was detected in any AFs. AFs and parallel serum samples from early and late pregnancy were positive for FIV-specific antibody. VN activity was detected in three early-term AFs and a parallel serum, but not late-term AFs. AF appears to play no appreciable role in FIV vertical transmission.