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.


On Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM, Lance <> 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
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