Understanding Genetic Variations Predisposing Cats to FIP
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP ) is a fatal, progressive and immune-augmented disease of cats that is particularly deadly in animal shelters. It is caused by a feline coronavirus (FCoV). FCoV infection is widespread in domestic, feral and nondomestic cat populations worldwide, and about 10 percent of FCoV-positive cats develop FIP . The disease tends to occur most frequently in cats younger than 2 years or, less commonly, in geriatric cats. Epidemiologic data suggest that a cat’s genetic background contributes to the manifestation of FIP , but specific genetic determinants of these clinical outcomes have yet to be discovered. This study will evaluate the genetic factors predisposing cats to FIP —both from a viral and a host perspective. The ultimate outcome of this study will be to develop a diagnostic tool for preventing FIP outbreaks in shelter cats.
Dr. Gary R. Whittaker, Cornell University
Co-sponsors: The Van Sloun Foundation; Maddie’s Fund, Rex and Nelle Jackson Foundation