Veterinary drug maker Zoetis Inc. this week began taking orders for a new test designed to diagnose both feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Shipments are scheduled to begin Jan. 5.
The Witness test kit uses Rapid Immuno Migration (RIM) technology to detect the presence of FeLV antigen and FIV antibodies within 10 minutes, according to the Florham, Park, N.J., company. No refrigeration or snapping—a common physical step in point-of-care diagnostic tests—is necessary.
“Since the Witness FeLV-FIV test kit does not require refrigeration, it is easy to store, does not take up refrigerator space, and veterinarians don’t need to wait for it to come to room temperature to use,” said J. Michael McFarland, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, the group director of Companion Animal Veterinary Operations for Zoetis.
The combination test rates at 92.9 percent sensitivity and 96.5 percent specificity for FeLV and 93.8 percent sensitivity and 93.4 percent specificity for FIV, the company added.
Feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus are potentially fatal. FeLV rates in the United States range from 2 to 4 percent of all cats and up to 13 percent or more of cats that are ill, very young or at high risk of infection, according to Zoetis, citing Cornell University figures.
About 1.5 to 3 percent of healthy cats and up to 15 percent or more of cats that are sick or at high risk of infection are infected with FIV, Zoetis noted.
The company’s Witness line includes point-of-care tests for feline leukemia, canine parvovirus, canine and feline pregnancy, luteinizing hormones—a canine breeding sign—and heartworm.