Hi Margo,

Wow, that is frustrating, and you were being so very cautious. 

You're right, each type of test seems to rely heavily on the test being run 
properly, and 
how can we assure that?

I will probably still do the IFA for Leo, and then if need be follow at some 
point with the PCR, etc.
Though the vet we went to hadn't heard of PCR testing for FeLV.


On Aug 14, 2013, at 11:01 AM, Margo wrote:

> Hi Shelley,
>        This is coming from a very disgruntled person so take it all with a 
> grain of salt:)
>        I have pretty much given up on test results as accomplishing anything. 
> They seem just about useless in the long run, from my experience. For many 
> years I ran a rescue in FL. I was fanatic about testing. Everyone was Elisa 
> tested on intake, and again in three months, if we still had them. We offered 
> follow-up testing to adopters. No positives were allowed to leave, and every 
> one tested negative (both Elisa and IFA) at 3 months. I figured I was just 
> very, very lucky.
>        Fast forward. Two years ago I re-tested my whole population. Elisa 
> negative. All of them. Just after that, I added a new cat. He was in 
> quarantine for three months. Clean Elisa at both times. In March, he tested 
> positive, after a very stressful bout of struvite stones. I was devastated. 
> Now what? Well, since then one more (of my original household) has tested +. 
> Another is likely. I'm not re-testing everyone. I'll test as they need to go 
> in for the complications.
>        Here's what "Shelter Medicine" (UC Davis) has to say about FeLV 
> testing;
> "What additional tests are available?
> Cats testing positive by the ELISA test on serum should ideally be retested 
> either using an ELISA test from a different manufacturer or by sending the 
> appropriate sample for an IFA test at a diagnostic laboratory. If both tests 
> are positive, the cat is very likely persistently infected. To be absolutely 
> certain, cats can be held and retested after 30 days if resources are 
> available and the cat can be appropriately housed and isolated (for the 
> protection of the cat and population; see below). Because the IFA is less 
> sensitive (more prone to false negatives) than the ELISA test, a negative IFA 
> result in a cat testing positive ELISA can not be taken as an indicator that 
> the cat is not infected. If the ELISA test is positive but the IFA results in 
> a negative result, both tests can be repeated in 30 days.  If this strategy 
> is used, a plan should be made at the outset and clearly communicated to 
> staff and foster parents regarding what will happen with cats that test 
> persistently positive after the 30 day hold. A PCR test can also be run to 
> help resolve any conflicts in the tests. PCR is very sensitive, so a negative 
> test result run by a reputable laboratory indicates infection is unlikely. 
> However, because PCR testing is very sensitive to laboratory error, correct 
> sample handling and laboratory quality are extremely important."
> Even so, the more I read, the less I trust ANY test to be accurate. Seems 
> that whatever the test, somehow there are ways it can prove to be inaccurate.
> So, I am at a loss. I have four kittens suitable for adoption. All tested 
> negative. All have been vaccinated against FeLV. And yet, they've lived 
> (completely seperately, physically) in a positive household. I don't want to 
> subject any adopter to the possibility of the heartbreak of FeLV. So they'll 
> stay. And I quit rescuing, fostering and re-hab. 
> Maybe I'll learn more (or someone else will) and change my mind.
> Margo
> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Shelley Theye <ve...@bellsouth.net>
>> Sent: Aug 14, 2013 9:57 AM
>> To: felvtalk@felineleukemia.org
>> Subject: [Felvtalk] IFA tests/PCR tests
>> Hi,
>> I want to bring Leo back in to get the IFA test.  I was reading about the 
>> company that developed
>> the IFA test,  the National Veterinary Lab.  Are they the company that most 
>> folks use or can 
>> my vet send to any lab, like Antech, etc.  Is one lab considered more 
>> accurate than another?
>> Are PCR tests done much? I think in England they are used more than the IFA, 
>> at least I recall
>> reading that a while back on a website.
>> Thanks so much for any advice,
>> Shelley
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