Cats living together in high numbers, including shelters and catteries, are at high risk for common cat viruses, including feline coronavirus. This virus usually causes mild diarrhea which improves on its own. However, in a small number of cats, infection can lead to a deadly disease called feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Recently, new drugs have been tested to cure infection, but making an effective vaccine to prevent FIP has been challenging. Researchers will use lessons learned from developing mRNA vaccines for human coronaviruses as first steps toward a vaccine for FIP. These vaccines use one small part of the viral genetic code to teach the body how to fight infection. Researchers hope findings will lead to the development of an effective and safe vaccine for FIP in cats, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of cat lives each year.
Grant amount awarded
University of California, Davis
Terza Brostoff, DVM, PhD