FIV – Testing and treatment?

As the name suggests, this is not about FIP, but it's important to know. I registered the strange information that when treating FIP with molnupiravir, it was also possible to cure FIV. And that cats that were positive before treatment were negative for FIV after treatment. And that the tests were not quick tests, but tests from Laboklin...

Apparently, many of you have the misconception that if something comes from a lab, that automatically means there is a clear answer. But it is a huge mistake. Let's talk about the principle of FIV and FeLV testing. Rapid tests (snaptests) are antibody-based for FIV and antigenic for FeLV. And here is the basic stumbling block. Antibodies, even if there is some miraculous cure, do not disappear after treatment. Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system and their purpose is to identify and neutralize foreign objects in the body. So the very negative result of the proilase test after the treatment, before which the test was positive, means only one thing - One of the two tests was false positive (or false negative) and therefore defective.

It is for this reason that it is strongly recommended, especially in the case of a positive FIV or FeLV test, to perform a confirmation test using another laboratory method.

And why did I say that the fact that something is done in the laboratory does not necessarily mean anything? Simply. If you have the FIV and FeLV test done by a laboratory and do not specify the method, it is very likely that the laboratory will do a SNAP test or an ELISA (EIA) test. You can tell by the price of the test, but also by what is on the report. The image below shows that this was a test FIV AK, but what does it mean? antibody test (AK=Antikörper). In parentheses is EIA, which stands for “enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay”. The abbreviation ELISA is also used. You should know that the gold standard of the confirmation test for FIV is the method test Western Blot... In that case, it would be mentioned in the report like this. Although the WB test is also an antibody test, it works on a completely different principle. For FeLV, the standard PCR is used as a confirmatory test. And something else. Why do you think you will test positive for FCoV antibody after treatment for FIP? Exactly for the reason I wrote about above. Antibodies remain in the body after treatment for FIP and this is completely natural. Even after you are cured of the much-maligned Covid, you will still have antibodies. Otherwise, it would be very bad for you. And ask yourself why FCOV antibodies would remain after treatment and FIV antibodies would disappear? Antibodies remain in the body for several months after treatment, and in some cases or for incurable diseases such as FIV, even for years.

In the picture you can see an FIV antibody test with a negative result, which led the cat's owner to the fantastic but unfortunately premature conclusion that the FIV was cured by treating the FIP.

For the sake of completeness, I am also attaching an FIV test using the Western Blot method for my cat, which unfortunately confirmed that it is FIV positive. And we even had a few snap tests done before (one even in the laboratory), some of which were negative and some were positive.

Please stop jumping to conclusions and tame the euphoria about the FIV cure. The result of two antibody tests with a conflicting result does not mean that a cure has occurred, but that one of the tests showed a faulty result.

In addition to the above information, you should also be aware that after vaccination based on the principle of an inactivated virus, it is no longer possible to use antibody tests for the diagnosis of the given disease, because the vaccination serves precisely to make the body create antibodies.

Antibody tests can come out positive even in the case of young kittens (under 20 weeks), when they can have maternal antibodies from breast milk and subsequently the tests can be negative.

Regarding PCR testing for FIV, I would add that you should read the article, where the basic principles of FIV tests and their reliability are presented. You will learn, for example, that the error rate of negative PCR tests is really very high.

FIV treatment ???

The FIV virus is a retrovirus related to the virus that causes HIV (AIDS). The main problem is that the virus is "built-in" into the host's genome, and that is why such a disease is not curable. Of course, this does not mean that the life expectancy of an affected individual cannot be extended with the use of symptomatic therapy. If an FIV cat is affected by an infection, antivirals can help, if a bacterial infection appears, ATB is used... Thus, accompanying diseases and infections are dealt with, and with this treatment, the FIV disease itself is kept under control, but it is not cured. To be sure, I also asked those actually called about the possibility of FIV treatment with molnupiravir. Answers by Danielle-Gunn Moore - professor of feline medicine from the University of Edinburgh and Yunjeong Kim - professor at Kansas State University, who together with Dr. Pedersen is behind the discovery of the treatment of FIP using GS-441524, hopefully they will convince those who got "drunk" on the croissant and succumbed to the vision of treating FIV with molnupiravir.

Translation: “Retroviruses such as FIV or HIV (AIDS) are not treatable with antivirals because the viruses are embedded in the host's genome. If there is a good antiviral for FIV, it can help the cat stay symptom-free for a longer period of time (similar to HIV drugs in humans), but I don't think there is any evidence that molnupiravir is effective against FIV.”
Translation: "It was pointed out to me that molnupiravir, because it works on the replicating virus, will never cure FIV, just like the effectiveness of these HIV drugs, because the proviral non-replicating virus can never be their target. Even HIV always requires 3-4 drugs, occasionally 2 – just to keep it under control, so really no chance of a cure.”