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Feline Panleukopenia Vaccination: How Much is Enough?

Clinician's Brief (Capsule)

Preventive Medicine

|December 2014

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Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) has a high morbidity and mortality rate, and FPV vaccination is considered a core requirement. Kittens are routinely vaccinated every 3–4 weeks up to 16 weeks of age followed by boosters. This study evaluated a point-of-care diagnostic test for use in adult cats to determine if protective antibodies were present and to prevent over-vaccination. ImmunoComb Feline VacciCheck FPV results were compared to a gold standard of hemagglutination inhibition (HI). Sera from 347 cats were tested using the point-of-care test and HI. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were determined for 3 titer points (1:20, 1:40, 1:80). When compared to the HI test for the 3 titer points, the point-of-care test had a sensitivity of 79%, 83%, and 87% and a specificity of 89%, 86%, and 81%, respectively. The point-of-care test specificity was considered comparable at a 1:20 titer.


With recent vaccination guideline revisions in the past several years, the concept of prevaccination titers is gaining appeal. In addition, vaccine reaction and vaccine-associated sarcomas (VAS) in cats concern many owners even if recent studies show a far lower prevalence of VAS in the feline population. Study authors hoped the point-of-care test would perform with a minimum of false positives to ensure its safety as a screening test. Although the test was efficient (ready in 21 minutes), its 89% specificity did not meet the arbitrary >90% specificity cutoff. Twenty-three individuals had false positive results and therefore might not have been vaccinated in a general practice or shelter setting. Although this study did not support the sole use of this test for screening, it may prove useful in cases where patients are either immunocompromised or have an immune-mediated disease.—Ewan Wolff, DVM, PhD


Evaluation of an in-house dot enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect antibodies against feline panleukopenia virus. Mende K, Stuetzer B, Truyen U, Hartmann K. J FELINE MED SURG 16:805-811, 2014.

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