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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2011 Oct 15;143(3-4):265-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2011.06.021. Epub 2011 Jun 12.

Genetic determinants of pathogenesis by feline infectious peritonitis virus.

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New Mexico State University, Department of Biology, Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001, USA.


Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal, immune-augmented, and progressive viral disease of cats associated with feline coronavirus (FCoV). Viral genetic determinants specifically associated with FIPV pathogenesis have not yet been discovered. Viral gene signatures in the spike, non-structural protein 3c, and membrane of the coronavirus genome have been shown to often correlate with disease manifestation. An "in vivo mutation transition hypothesis" is widely accepted and postulates that de novo virus mutation occurs in vivo giving rise to virulence. The existence of "distinct circulating avirulent and virulent strains" is an alternative hypothesis of viral pathogenesis. It may be possible that viral dynamics from both hypotheses are at play in the occurrence of FIP. Epidemiologic data suggests that the genetic background of the cat contributes to the manifestation of FIP. Further studies exploring both viral and host genetic determinants of disease in FIP offer specific opportunities for the management of this disease.

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