Mullins Molecular Retrovirology Lab

  • Department of Microbiology
  • School of Medicine
  • University of Washington
University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research

Citation Information

Hoover EA, Mullins JI, Chu HJ, Wasmoen TL (1995). Development and testing of an inactivated feline leukemia virus vaccine. Seminars in veterinary medicine and surgery (small animal), 10(4), 238-43. (pubmed)


We assessed an inactivated whole virus feline leukemia virus (FeLV) vaccine developed from a molecularly cloned feline leukemia virus isolate (FeLV-61E-A) for its ability to protect cats against homologous and heterologous virulent virus challenge. The fractions of cats that resisted the induction of persistent viremia after FeLV challenge were the following: (1) FeLV-61E-A vaccine, 95%; (2) adjuvant controls, 26%; and (3) established commercial control FeLV vaccine, 35%. The pre-challenge mean neutralizing antibody titers for each group were (1) FeLV-61E-A vaccine, 1:43; (2) adjuvant controls, <1:8; and (3) established commercial control FeLV vaccine: 1:12. The commercial version of the prototype FeLV-61E-A vaccine (Fel-O-Vax, Fort Dodge Laboratories, Fort Dodge, IA) was developed through use of a proprietary adjuvant and a stable high antigen production cell lines. The efficacy and duration of immunity produced by Fel-O-Vax was studied alone and in multivalent combination with other feline virus vaccines in seven subsequent efficacy trials conducted in over 150 immunized cats. The overall FeLV-resistant fraction in these trials was 87% in vaccinated cats versus 8% in adjuvant controls. The duration of protective immunity induced by the multivalent Fel-O-Vax-LvK IV at 1 year postvaccination was 100% in challenged vaccinees versus 0% in challenged controls. The results of these studies show that an inactivated FeLV vaccine prepared from a molecularly cloned subgroup A FeLV can produce high level protective immunity against FeLV infection. This immunity is durable for at least 1 year without intervening booster immunization or virus exposure.