Studying the Genetics of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Observational
Infectious
COMPLETED

Overview

Studying the Genetics of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP)

Complete the registration form to find out if your pet qualifies to be in our clinical trial.

Dr. Gary Whittaker, of the Whittaker Lab, in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, is continuing the regional study of the feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) virus and how it infects cats. The aim is to reach a better understanding of this virus in order to formulate a successful method of treatment and to work towards a future diagnostic test.

Location

Cornell

ITHACA, NY

Location

Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA)

930 Campus Rd,

Ithaca, NY 14853

Study Team

Carol Frederick
Carol FrederickClinical Trials Coordinator

Carol graduated from SUNY Delhi in 1994 and became an LVT. She spent 2 years in private practice, then moved to the emergency and critical care department at Cornell University Hospital for Animals. She obtained her technician specialty in ECC in 2007. After 21 years in ECC she moved to clinical trials, and now is the lead trials coordinator at Cornell.

Apply today if...

You cat has recently been diagnosed with FIP

Currently the lab is looking for whole body donations of cats with suspected FIP who are recently deceased.

Background

Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV) is a virulence form (biotype) of the Feline Enteric Corona Virus (FECV) and is estimated to kill 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 cats worldwide. FIP occurs wherever FECV is found and is, therefore, worldwide and ubiquitous among virtually all cat populations. Thus, the epizootiology of FIP is closely linked to that of FECV. Shedding of FECV can be transient, recurrent, or chronic over periods of months or years. The FECV is present in virtually all catteries and shelters with more than six cats and is shed by 60% or more of pet cats from multi-cat households.

Causes

The mutation responsible for the FIPV biotype is consistently found in the 3c gene, which encodes a small protein of unknown function. The mutations are usually SNPs causing premature stop codons or deletion mutations that negate or significantly truncate the 3c gene product. The specific deleterious mutation in ORF 3c can differ even between affected kittens in the same litter, again supporting internal mutation and auto-infection rather than cat-to-cat transmission as the primary route of exposure.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of FIP is confirmed based on signalment, clinical history, examination of prior laboratory test results, physical examination and basic blood and effusion analyses. The presence of FIPV can further be confirmed by qRT-PCR, either from abdominal or thoracic effusions.

Treatment

No preventative measures are currently available. Once cats develop classic clinical signs, fatality to FIP is virtually 100% and the median survival time from the time of diagnosis to death or euthanasia is about 8– 9 days.

About Infectious Peritonitis

Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus (FIPV) is a virulence form (biotype) of the Feline Enteric Corona Virus (FECV) and is estimated to kill 1 in 100 to 1 in 300 cats worldwide. FIP occurs wherever FECV is found and is, therefore, worldwide and ubiquitous among virtually all cat populations. Thus, the epizootiology of FIP is closely linked to that of FECV. Shedding of FECV can be transient, recurrent, or chronic over periods of months or years. The FECV is present in virtually all catteries and shelters with more than six cats and is shed by 60% or more of pet cats from multi-cat households.

The mutation responsible for the FIPV biotype is consistently found in the 3c gene, which encodes a small protein of unknown function. The mutations are usually SNPs causing premature stop codons or deletion mutations that negate or significantly truncate the 3c gene product. The specific deleterious mutation in ORF 3c can differ even between affected kittens in the same litter, again supporting internal mutation and auto-infection rather than cat-to-cat transmission as the primary route of exposure.

The diagnosis of FIP is confirmed based on signalment, clinical history, examination of prior laboratory test results, physical examination and basic blood and effusion analyses. The presence of FIPV can further be confirmed by qRT-PCR, either from abdominal or thoracic effusions.

No preventative measures are currently available. Once cats develop classic clinical signs, fatality to FIP is virtually 100% and the median survival time from the time of diagnosis to death or euthanasia is about 8– 9 days.