Prevalence of antibody to feline immunodeficiency virus in some cat populations.
Serum samples collected from 1983 to 1988 from cats in several populations were screened for antibody to feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) using a commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. ELISA-positive samples were further checked by Western blotting. Of 90 samples collected from feral cats in 1983 and 1984, 24 (27%) were positive, although the proportion of seropositive cats in the colonies varied from 0 to 89%. None of 28 young healthy cats admitted to the University of Liverpool Small Animal Hospital for neutering in 1987 had detectable antibody to FIV, whereas 8(14%) of a random sample of 59 cats seen by veterinary surgeons in Liverpool, Manchester and Taunton from 1985 to 1987 had antibody to FIV. Thirteen (37%) of 35 cats with cowpox that were seen from 1984-88 were found to have antibody to FIV. In the cowpox virus-infected cats, FIV antibody was not always associated with any obvious adverse clinical effects even in the long term.