For FeLV, again the ELISA test is almost always the initial test used.  In
contrast to FIV, the FeLV ELISA does not detect antibodies, but whether the
antigen of the virus is present in the blood.  In other words, a positive
test result indicates the presence of the actual FeLV virus in the blood.
But, the test is extremely sensitive and is prone to false positives from
improper handling.  In addition, a cat in the early stages of FeLV infection
can still fight it off.  The disease does not take permanent hold until it
enters the cat's white blood cells, which only another type of test, the IFA
test (Immunofluoresence Assay, also known as the Hardy test) can determine.
The IFA test must be performed at a lab and is more expensive.
Consequently, if a cat appears otherwise healthy, a positive ELISA test
should always be confirmed with an IFA test.  Only if other severe
pathological symptoms of FeLV are present should an initial positive ELISA
ever be relied upon alone.

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