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Objective—To determine whether detection of virusspecific serum antibodies correlates with resistance to challenge with virulent feline herpesvirus 1 (FHV-1), feline calicivirus (FCV), and feline parvovirus (FPV) in cats and to determine percentages of client-owned cats with serum antibodies to FHV-1, FCV, and FPV.

Design—Prospective experimental study.

Animals—72 laboratory-reared cats and 276 clientowned cats.

Procedures—Laboratory-reared cats were vaccinated against FHV-1, FCV, and FPV, using 1 of 3 commercial vaccines, or maintained as unvaccinated controls. Between 9 and 36 months after vaccination, cats were challenged with virulent virus. Recombinant-antigen ELISA for detection of FHV-1-, FCV-, and FPV-specific antibodies were developed, and results were compared with results of hemagglutination inhibition (FPV) and virus neutralization (FHV-1 and FCV) assays and with resistance to viral challenge.

Results—For vaccinated laboratory-reared cats, predictive values of positive results were 100% for the FPV and FCV ELISA and 90% for the FHV-1 ELISA. Results of the FHV-1, FCV, and FPV ELISA were positive for 195 (70.7%), 255 (92.4%), and 189 (68.5%), respectively, of the 276 client-owned cats.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that for cats that have been vaccinated, detection of FHV-1-, FCV-, and FPV-specific antibodies is predictive of whether cats are susceptible to disease, regardless of vaccine type or vaccination interval. Because most client-owned cats had detectable serum antibodies suggestive of resistance to infection, use of arbitrary booster vaccination intervals is likely to lead to unnecessary vaccination of some cats. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;219:38–42)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association