This test screens for Feline Leukemia virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a common infectious disease that spreads from cat to cat through the exchange of body fluids during casual contact or fighting.
FeLV infections begin with an acute viremia followed by an asymptomatic phase. The final stage takes one of two paths:
- A progressive infection that is not contained; the virus propagates in the bone marrow and the cat develops FeLV-associated disease.
- A regressive infection where the cat remains infected, but reverts to an aviremic state. This cat is unlikely to develop FeLV-associated disease.
Identifying infected cats helps limit the spread of FeLV and improves treatment options for FeLV-positive cats.
The primary modes of FIV transmission are deep bite wounds and scratches, where the infected cat's saliva enters the other cat's bloodstream. FIV may also be transmitted from pregnant females to their offspring in utero.
The disease occurs in three stages: First is the Acute Stage (1–2 months after transmission) in which fever, depression, and generalized lymphadenopathy are observed. Second is the Subclinical Stage (from 4 weeks to several years after transmission), in which symptoms of the disease decrease or disappear. Third is the Chronic Stage, in which cats eventually succumb to chronic infections due to suppressed immune system function. Cats may incur stomatitis, gingivitis, rhinitis, conjunctivitis, pneumonitis, enteritis, and dermatitis in the later stages of infection.