Like others who have replied, I have worked with cat rescues and have personal experiences w/ FeLV. I trust ELISA and IFA results if done properly. However, I wouldn't run a PCR test. I feel this test is EXTREMELY sensitive and any sort of mishandling will result in an untrustworthy result. One of the rescues I volunteered with occasionally tested with ELISA and, if positive, ran a PCR test. One litter came from a FeLV+ mom. All the kittens except for one tested positive on ELISA as well. Those four were retested through PCR. They all came back negative. What a relief, right? Not really. All those "negative" kittens were allowed to mingle with three other litters that came through. All of these kittens were adopted out around Thanksgiving and Christmas last year. A little over a month ago, we received a few heartbreaking calls and emails about some of these kittens dying from FeLV related illnesses. They weren't actually negative and had FeLV the entire time they were in the rescue. At least 15 other kittens were exposed through contact with the positive kittens.
I feel the ELISA test followed by a confirmatory IFA test is the best route. If the ELISA test is positive, run an IFA. If the cat is negative on the IFA, retest using ELISA in 12 weeks. If it's still positive, it's unfortunately a true positive. Of course there are going to be outliers. Some cats carry latent infections, some cats can beat it, ect. Despite all the stories you hear, these aren't typical cases. -Amanda On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM, Lance <lini...@fastmail.fm> wrote: > If I understood the AAFP retrovirus guidelines paper, PCR tests are the > only test that will show regressive infection. Theoretically, regressive > infections rarely if ever surface. In other words, a true negative on > ELISA/IFA should not "go positive" later on down the line. > > Testing, like vaccination, is not ironclad guaranteed in results, but it's > still useful for bringing in new cats and adopting them out. It's a shame > that IFA and PCR testing is so expensive. Probably not too bad for an owner > of one cat, but for rescuers… > > Hopefully we'll have better diagnostics someday, but most everything with > FeLV feels stuck in the status quo of 2005. > > Lance > _______________________________________________ > Felvtalk mailing list > Felvtalk@felineleukemia.org > http://felineleukemia.org/mailman/listinfo/felvtalk_felineleukemia.org > -- "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge" Bertrand Russell
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