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Biologicals. 2005 Dec;33(4):215-7. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Feline immunodeficiency virus vaccine: implications for diagnostic testing and disease management.

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Cornell Feline Health Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, S3 111 Schurman Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is a common feline pathogen, with an overall infection prevalence of approximately 11% in cats worldwide. Most infected cats eventually succumb due to direct viral effects or, more commonly, to secondary infections resulting from virus-induced immunosuppression. FIV infection is considered lifelong, and diagnosis most often relies on detection of virus-specific antibodies. A currently available whole virus, adjuvanted, inactivated FIV vaccine induces antibodies in vaccinates that is indistinguishable from those induced by infection. As a result, currently available diagnostic tests cannot reliably distinguish vaccinated cats from infected cats, or from cats that are both vaccinated and infected. From both an epidemiologic and an individual cat perspective, it is impossible to determine whether use of this vaccination is more beneficial than it is harmful.

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