W13-019: Host immune response of feline kidney cells to pathogenic and non-pathogenic feline coronavirus strains: Developing biomarkers for FIP

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a devastating disease cause by a coronavirus that is almost always fatal, especially in young cats. It causes subtle onset of signs such as persistent fever that does not respond to treatment, weight loss, and sometimes fluid accumulation in the abdomen and chest. FIP remains one of the most difficult diseases to definitively diagnose in feline medicine. There is also very limited information on how the immune system of an infected cat responds to the virus. The feline coronavirus occurs in two different forms, one infecting the gut causing only mild symptoms (FECV, feline enteric coronavirus) and the second one causing the fatal disease (FIPV). There is currently no method to distinguish between those two forms and no information on the difference in immune response to these viruses. The goal of this study is to investigate the immune response of various feline cells infected by FIPV and FECV to identify markers that can be used to distinguish between the two virus forms in order to better understand the immunity of infected cats. These results will enable researchers to develop better diagnostics and improved treatments for FIP. (Bria Fund Study)

Grant ID: W13-019

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2013

Amount awarded: $25,000

Investigator: Yvonne Drechsler, PhD and Pedro Diniz, DVM, PhD; Western University of Health Sciences