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Old February 18th, 2008, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Remy21 View Post
There isn't just one definite FIP test though and all of this really confuses me. I have heard of the ELISA test and that might be something that tests for all the viruses (FIV, FeLV, FIP...?) I'm not sure about that though.
Yes the ELISA test does test for more than just FIP, this way you can rule out the others @ the same time.

Originally Posted by Remy21 View Post
Otherwise I've read that it's impossible to actually "diagnose" FIP until the autopsy after death.
uhh I think you must be thinking of Rabies, that is the only virus that cannot be tested for until after death.

FIP is a coronavirus (similar in nature to the Corona and Parvo viruses that dogs get) & testing will give a definative diagnosis.
Are there any laboratory tests that can detect the FIP virus?
The KELA, ELISA, IFA, and virus-neutralization tests detect the presence of coronavirus antibodies in a cat. A positive test result only means the cat has had a prior exposure to a coronavirus -- not necessarily one that causes FIP -- and has developed antibodies against that virus. If the test is negative, it means the cat has not been exposed to a coronavirus.

The number, or titer, that is reported is the highest serum dilution that still produced a positive reaction. Low titers indicate a small amount of coronavirus antibodies in the serum, while high titers indicate greater amounts of antibodies. A healthy cat with a high titer is not necessarily more likely to develop FIP or be a carrier of an FIP-causing coronavirus than a cat with a low titer. It also is not necessarily protected against future FIP virus infection.

Recently, two new tests have been developed that can detect parts of the virus itself. The immunoperoxidase test can diagnose FIP more accurately than traditional histopathologic examination because it detects virus-infected cells in the tissue. A biopsy of affected tissue is necessary for evaluation. Another antigen test utilizes polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect viral genetic material in tissue or body fluid. Although this test shows promise, PCR is presently only capable of detecting coronaviruses in general, not necessarily those that cause FIP.
A FIP test would be much cheaper than seeing a neurologist & will put one possibility out of your mind before moving on to the next.
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