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W15-030: Using small interfering RNA for treatment of feline infectious peritonitis

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease that is caused by feline coronavirus (FCoV). Cats lack an effective immune response (IR) to the virus and cats with FIP have a profound reduction in a specific white blood cell type (WBCs) that is important for protection of cats from infection. In this study, it is proposed that death of these important WBCs is due to activation of a response called “programmed death” within the cells. Initiation of this response is thought to be due to an overexpression of two proteins on the surface of the WBCs and the interaction of these two proteins. Preliminary evidence supports this hypothesis therefore the study’s goals are to confirm these findings by testing more samples and to evaluate whether blocking WBCs death will enhance the survival of the white blood cells. If shown to be effective, programmed death pathway blocking could be a useful addition to any therapy that specifically targets the virus.

Grant ID: W15-030

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2015

Amount awarded: $16,500

Investigator: Emin Anis, PhD; Rebecca Wilkes, DVM, PhD; The University of Tennessee