W10-036: Molecular prevalence and viral load of replicating feline coronavirus in the bloodstream of healthy shelter cats in southern California

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a generalized disease caused by a coronavirus (FCoV). It causes subtle onset of clinical signs, persistent fever that does not respond to treatment, inflammatory nodular tissue reaction with pus, and accumulation of inflammatory fluids in the abdomen. FIP has a high mortality rate, and it occurs more frequently among young cats. Despite improvement in laboratory methods, FIP remains one of the most difficult diseases to diagnose definitively in feline medicine. A new technique based on DNA detection has been suggested as an improved way to identify cats with FIP. However, it is not clear how many healthy cats are considered positive using this technique, because two different studies reported discrepant results. No such study has ever been conducted in cats in the United States. The objective of this study is to determine the frequency of healthy cats in southern California that are infected with FCoV, and the relative number of viruses in their bloodstream. The results of this study will provide epidemiological data about healthy but infected cats in the U.S. and select these cats to participate in a future study about early detection of FIP. (Bria Fund Study)

Grant ID: W10-036

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2010

Amount awarded: $10,000

Investigator: Pedro Paulo Diniz, DVM, PhD; Yvonne Drechsler, PhD; Linda Kidd, DVM, PhD, DACVIM; Frank Bossong, DVM; Ellen Collisson, MS, PhD; Western University of Health Sciences