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Protecting cats from a deadly virus

Feline infectious peritonitis is a uniformly fatal disease of cats. Despite persistent efforts by researchers, no effective therapy or vaccine exists to treat or prevent this disease. Studies show a common intestinal virus, feline enteric coronavirus, can mutate and cause FIP. Some cats develop persistent FECV infections and continuously shed and spread the virus; other cats are able to naturally eliminate FECV from their systems. Researchers will study cats with a protective immune response to FECV, and use this new data to assess the feasibility of developing an FECV vaccine as a way to prevent FIP. Vaccination would be especially useful in situations where cats have a higher incidence of FECV and risk of developing FIP, such as shelters, catteries and animal sanctuaries.


INVESTIGATOR: Gregg A. Dean, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Colorado State University