Feline Immunodeficincy Virus Treatment with Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator

Lymphocyte (sometimes spelled lymphocite) T-Cell Immunomodulator (LTCI) is one of the newest forms of treatment for the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. A widespread disease among domestic and wild cats, FIV attacks the feline immune system, leaving it vulnerable to attacks from bacteria, viruses or parasites.

Although the FIV retrovirus is in the same family of virus as HIV, the disease can only be spread among cats. It is often transmitted through bites or from mother to kitten. With limited treatment options, it can be very challenging and distressing to care for FIV cats. Learning more about Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator may help you decide if this developing treatment is a viable option for your FIV pet.

What Is Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator Treatment?

Lymphocyte T-Cell Immunomodulator is a immune-based FIV therapy created by Missouri-based IMULAN BioTherapeutics, Inc., and manufactured by T-Cyte Therapeutics. LTCI is the first USDA-approved product licensed for the treatment of Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and the related Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV).

LTCI is a polypeptide, or single-chain protein, that may help improve immune system function in FIV cats by increasing the production of lymphocytes. Also known as immune or T-cells, lymphocytes are specialized white blood cells that help identify and attack harmful viruses and cancers. As FIV progresses, the number of healthy feline T cells declines.

How Does It Work?

Some animal medical professionals believe that introducing LTCI into the systems of FIV cats may help strengthen their damaged immune systems, and improve their quality of life. LTCI is described as a regulator of a lymphocytes known as CD-4, or "helper T cells." These unique white blood cells play an important role in the body's immunological responses to infections and illness. They are also a main target of the FIV virus. LTCI is thought to help stimulate the function of existing CD-4 cells, while promoting an overall increase in the number of helper T cells. LTCI is also thought to help increase production of Interleukin-2, a type of hormone that signals T cells to defend against infection.

Guidelines for Treatment

LTCI is administered as a shot injected under the feline skin. It is sold in 3-dose and 10-dose packs, and is only available by prescription from veterinarians in the United States. Dosage amounts and the duration of treatment may be determined by a veterinarian's assessment of the physical condition and history of an individual animal. Due to its relative newness to the market, the availability of LTCI treatments may be limited. Your veterinarian may be able to confirm information on LTCI treatment cost and direct availability. Additional details on distribution may also be available on the website of the manufacturer, T-Cyte Therapeutics.

Although research into the safety and effectiveness of LTCI continues, clinical trials sited by the manufacturer suggest the treatment is relatively low-risk and well-tolerated by most cats. Your veterinarian may provide their own professional expertise on whether your cat is a good candidate for LTCI treatments.

Advancements in FIV management, including the emergence of LTCI treatments, may provide owners with a new option for improving the quality of life for their cats.