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Fecal Parvovirus Testing in Cats

Neuerer, F. F., K. Horlacher, et al. (2008). “Comparison of different in-house test systems to detect parvovirus in faeces of cats.” Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery 10(3): 247-251.

Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV) is a common infection of domestic cats. The disease is highly contagious and associated with significant morbidity and mortality, especially in kittens. The virus is highly resistant and can survive up to 1 year in infected organic material. Clinical signs in cats are variable and leukopenia is not always present at the time of presentation. In-house tests for the detection of fecal canine parvovirus and/or FPV antigen for use in veterinary practice have become available. The close structural and antigenic relation of FPV and canine parvoviruses offers the possibility to test cats for FPV with the same test kit used for dogs. This study was designed to evaluate the strength and weaknesses of 5 commercial tests and to assess their sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values. In total, 200 fecal samples from randomly selected healthy cats (148) and cats with diarrhea (52) were tested and compared with the results of examination by electron microscopy. Ten cats were positive for FPV and all of these had diarrhea. All tests were suitable to screen cats for fecal parvovirus excretion. In-house parvovirus tests may be positive up to 2 weeks after vaccination, and therefore, in recently vaccinated cats positive results do not necessarily mean infection.
>> PubMed abstract

Related articles:
Patterson, E. V., M. J. Reese, et al. (2007). “Effect of vaccination on parvovirus antigen testing in kittens.” J Am Vet Med Assoc 230(3): 359-63.
>> PubMed abstract