Those two little babies are so adorable.  I really hope they turn out to
 be negative.  How did you manage to get them to be still to take such 
great photos?  When I try to take photos of my fosters for our website 
they are too busy playing to sit still for a photo shoot.

I didn't foster the mama kitty or kittens that had FeLV but last I heard
 they waited like a month and a half and did the IFA on the mama kitty 
which turned out to be negative.  They did individual snap test on the 
four kittens.  Two of the four kittens tested positive on the snap test 
and the other two tested negative.  So weird.  They were able to adopt 
out the two negative kittens, same home I believe, although they did 
tell the adopters about the Mama and the two positive littermates.  The 
other two littermates haven't been adopted yet.  I'm not sure about the 
Mama cat.  I'll have to e-mail them to find out what's going on right 
now.  They really need to re-test the Mama and the two positive kittens 
and I don't know if they realize it.  Good thing you sent this e-mail so
 I'd remember to talk with them.

I have this book called "The Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook" which
 is written by several different vets and I'll write exactly what they 
say about testing.  It's a little long so just ignore this next part if 
you don't want to know.

"Currently there are two tests available to detect FeLV infection.

1.  The IFA test, performed by a reference laboratory, detects virus 
antigen in infected white blood cells.  This indicates that the bone 
marrow is infected and there is a high probability that the cat is 
persistently viremic and is shedding the virus in his saliva, making him
 infective to other cats.  About 97 percent of IFA positive cats remain 
viremic for life and never extinguish the virus.

2.  The ELISA test detects virus antigen in whole blood, serum, saliva 
and tears.  Blood is the recommended sample for testing.  A rapid 
screening leukemia test kit is available for home and veterinary clinic 
use.  The ELISA test is more likely to detect weak, early, or transient 

The common practice is to screen for FeLV using the ELISA test.  If 
positive, the cat may have a transient viremia from which he will 
recover completely, or he may be in the early stages of a progressive 
infection.  A positive ELISA test should be confirmed with an IFA test. 
 A positive IFA test indicates that the cat is shedding virus and is 
capable of infecting others.

The ELISA test should be repeated in 8 to 12 weeks to see if the virus 
has been eliminated.  The IFA test should also be repeated at this time 
because if the cat was in an early stage of infection, the IFA initially
 may not have been positive but may become so after 12 weeks."

That's the direct quote from the book.  The books also mentions about 
latent (dormant) type infections where the cat is able to eliminate the 
virus from blood and saliva but the virus still persists in the bone 
marrow and in T-cell lymphocytes.  It says "over many months the 
majority of latent-infected cats overcome and extinguish the virus, so 
the incidence of latent infection after three years is quite low."  
During this period of latency though it talks about sometimes stress and
 illness can reactivate the virus.  As far as testing to find out if a 
cat has a latent virus it says - 

"Cats with latent infection test negative on both the ELISA and the IFA 
tests.  This is because the virus is absent in both serum and white 
cells.  The only way to diagnose a latent infection is to remove a 
sample of the cat's bone marrow containing the dormant virus and grow 
the cells in culture."

Well, that's what the book says anyway.  Not that it is an absolute 
authority but most of the other reading seems to say the same thing.  
What's funny is that you could have a cat that has a latent infection 
and you would never know it unless the virus got reactivated and the cat
 became sick.  So you could do 10 different test on the cat and they 
would all be negative but then a year later the virus could become 
reactived then the cat tests positive.  I look at all my cats and my 
fosters and wonder if any of them have a latent infection.  You just 
never know and that's the really scary part.  One encouraging thing 
though is that only about 30% of the cats exposed to the virus actually 
become permanently infected and will die from the disease.  Of course 
30% is still too many.

The problem we in rescue have is that keeping the cat for 12 weeks and 
doing several different test before trying to adopt out is not always 
possible.  It sucks.

As far as immune system stimulants, I'm not sure what to recommend.  I 
hear of so many different things that I can't remember what does what 
and what is good for what.  I would think a decent diet is a good basis 
to start with.  Probably not the cheapest cat food they sell.  But the 
supplements are just way too confusing for me.  Natalie and some of the 
others might have some opinions.

“I am not interested to know whether vivisection produces results that are 
profitable to the human race or doesn’t….the pain which it inflicts upon 
unconsenting animals is the basis of my enmity toward it, and it is to me 
sufficient justification of the enmity without looking further.” – Mark Twain

> From:
> Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2011 13:15:18 -0500
> To:
> Subject: Re: [Felvtalk] doubts on two FeLV positive kitties
> John,
> Thanks, that's the idea I had too... Since Beltza shared her life with Zuri,
> my FeLV negative and we never had an issue.
> What brand of vaccines do you use on your FeLV Negative. We are using
> Pfizer's Leukocell on the rest of the kitties.
> The thing is... If I was going to keep these little ones, I would be this
> worried.... But since I am in the need of finding suitable homes for them, I
> feel like I need to have more cautions. I do not want a random FeLV negative
> to gain the virus, just because someone forgot a vaccine....
> Natalie,
> One of the kitties is probably 3 months old, whilst the other one is,
> probably, 4 mo.
> As you and Maureen suggested, I will do the IFA test... I just need to find
> out where in México they have that test.
> Thanks for the info on the IFA test, it was pretty clear and really useful
> :)
> Maureen, thanks also for the info on the virus lifecycle/development. Is
> there anything we can do to help our kittie's immune system to fight the
> virus? Echinacea, maybe? Some other immunoestimulant?
> What happened to the mama cat and the kitties?
> Thanks for the advice and for your words Gracias Bonnie :)
> Beth,
> So, if I got a negative result in the IFA test, it can still mean that they
> are fighting the virus and the bone marrow could acquire the virus later?
> This is so hard :(
> Dear all,
> Thank you so much for your support. This is a great group, and it feels son
> nice to count on you guys in these hard times.
> Best wishes,
> Ana
> PS. Here are pictures of the little ones, so you can get toknow them
> Erizo:
> Panfi:
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