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Identifying Genetic Causes of Coronavirus and FIP

There are two types of feline coronavirus (FCoV), and an infected cat’s prognosis depends on which type of virus infects the cat. Feline enteric coronavirus is more common and causes only mild gastrointestinal disease. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP ), however, which constitutes 10 percent of FCoV infections, spreads rapidly and can result in death, most frequently in young cats. Currently, no tests are available to determine if a cat is infected with FIP . Though little is known about what accounts for the difference in disease manifestation, the two types of FCoV are genetically very similar. Researchers will identify the genetic regions responsible for causing disease. This information will help in developing early diagnostic tools and lay the foundation for developing better vaccines and treatment options for this disease.

Dr. Yvonne Drechsler, Western University of Health Sciences, First Award Grant