Immunogenicity and Efficacy of a Commercial Feline Leukemia Virus Vaccine

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16 Scopus citations


Twenty young adult specific pathogen‐free cats were randomly divided into two groups of 10 animals each. One group was vaccinated with two doses of feline leukemia virus vaccine according to the manufacturer's recommendations. All 20 cats were challenge exposed oronasally (4 times over a 1‐week period), beginning 3 weeks after immunization, with a virulent subgroup A strain of FeLV (CT600‐FeLV). The severity of the FeLV infection was enhanced by treating the cats with methylprednisolone acetate at the time of the last FeLV exposure. Ten of 10nonvaccinated cats became persistently viremic compared with 0/10 of the vaccinates. ELISA antibodies to whole FeLV were present at high concentrations after immunization in all of the vaccinated cats, and there was no observable anamnestic antibody response after challenge exposure. ELISA antibodies to whole FeLV appeared at low concentrations in the serum of nonvaccinated cats after infection but disappeared as the viremia became permanently established. Virus neutralizing antibodies were detected in 3/10 vaccinates and 0/10 nonvaccinates immediately before FeLV challenge exposure, and in 8/10 vaccinates and 1/10 nonvaccinates 5 weeks later. Although vaccination did not consistently evoke virus neutralizing antibodies, it appeared to immunologically prime cats for a virus‐neutralizing antibody response after infection. Active FeLV infection was detected in bone marrow cells taken 14 weeks after infection from 10/10 nonvaccinates and 0/10 vaccinates. Latent FeLV infection was not detected in bone marrow cells from any of the vaccinated cats 14 weeks after challenge exposure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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