Development of the immunofluorescent antibody test for detection of feline leukemia virus infection in cats

William D. Hardy Jr. From The Laboratory of Veterinary Oncology and The Infectious Disease Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.

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Evelyn E. Zuckerman From The Laboratory of Veterinary Oncology and The Infectious Disease Service, Department of Medicine, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.

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Summary

Studies of the immunodetection of various microorganisms by various assay systems indicated that the most specific and sensitive assays are immunofluorescence, radioimmunoassay, and immunoblot analysis (western blot), followed by sensitive but less specific elisa and agglutination assays and, finally, by even less sensitive but very specific virus isolation and double immunodiffusion techniques. The first test for the clinical detection of FeLV infection in pet cats was the immunofluorescent antibody (ifa) test, which was introduced in 1972. The FeLV test is used for detection for FeLV infection and not as a test for leukemia or any other feline disease. The ifa test was compared with an immunodiffusion (id) test and with tissue culture isolation (tci) of the virus in 26 cats to establish a standard for FeLV tests. Excellent correlation was observed between the ifa and the id tests (100%) and between the ifa and id tests, compared with tci (96.2%). From these studies, it is clear that the ifa test is more accurate and more practical, and that results can be obtained faster than can those for the id or tci tests for FeLV.

Summary

Studies of the immunodetection of various microorganisms by various assay systems indicated that the most specific and sensitive assays are immunofluorescence, radioimmunoassay, and immunoblot analysis (western blot), followed by sensitive but less specific elisa and agglutination assays and, finally, by even less sensitive but very specific virus isolation and double immunodiffusion techniques. The first test for the clinical detection of FeLV infection in pet cats was the immunofluorescent antibody (ifa) test, which was introduced in 1972. The FeLV test is used for detection for FeLV infection and not as a test for leukemia or any other feline disease. The ifa test was compared with an immunodiffusion (id) test and with tissue culture isolation (tci) of the virus in 26 cats to establish a standard for FeLV tests. Excellent correlation was observed between the ifa and the id tests (100%) and between the ifa and id tests, compared with tci (96.2%). From these studies, it is clear that the ifa test is more accurate and more practical, and that results can be obtained faster than can those for the id or tci tests for FeLV.

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