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Diagnostic uncertainty and the epidemiology of feline foamy virus in pumas (Puma concolor)


Dannemiller, NG and Kechejian, S and Kraberger, S and Logan, K and Alldredge, M and Crooks, KR and VandeWoude, S and Carver, S, Diagnostic uncertainty and the epidemiology of feline foamy virus in pumas (Puma concolor), Scientific Reports, 10, (1) Article 1587. ISSN 2045-2322 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

DOI: doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58350-7


Feline foamy virus (FFV) is a contact-dependent retrovirus forming chronic, largely apathogenic, infections in domestic and wild felid populations worldwide. Given there is no current 'gold standard' diagnostic test for FFV, efforts to elucidate the ecology and epidemiology of the virus may be complicated by unknown sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests. Using Bayesian Latent Class Analysis, we estimated the sensitivity and specificity of the only two FFV diagnostic tests available-ELISA and qPCR-as well as the prevalence of FFV in a large cohort of pumas from Colorado. We evaluated the diagnostic agreement of ELISA and qPCR, and whether differences in their diagnostic accuracy impacted risk factor analyses for FFV infection. Our results suggest ELISA and qPCR did not have strong diagnostic agreement, despite FFV causing a persistent infection. While both tests had similar sensitivity, ELISA had higher specificity. ELISA, but not qPCR, identified age to be a significant risk factor, whereas neither qPCR nor ELISA identified sex to be a risk factor. This suggests FFV transmission in pumas may primarily be via non-antagonistic, social interactions between adult conspecifics. Our study highlights that combined use of qPCR and ELISA for FFV may enhance estimates of the true prevalence of FFV and epidemiological inferences.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Veterinary sciences
Research Field:Veterinary parasitology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:Carver, S (Associate Professor Scott Carver)
ID Code:149651
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2022-04-05
Last Modified:2022-05-26
Downloads:10 View Download Statistics

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