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Pathogenicity studies of feline coronavirus isolates 79-1146 and 79-1683

Pathogenicity studies of feline coronavirus isolates 79-1146 and 79-1683

American Journal of Veterinary Research 45(12): 2580-2585

Two feline coronavirus isolates were characterized by their disease-causing potential in cats. The 79-1683 feline coronavirus isolate caused an inapparent-to-mild enteritis when given oronasally to specific-pathogen-free kittens and was not a cause of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Target tissues for the virus were the mature apical epithelium of the small intestine, mesenteric lymph nodes, tonsils, thymus, and (to a lesser extent) the lungs. Inoculated kittens shed high numbers of virus in their feces for 14 to 17 days, but remained infectious to susceptible kittens for longer periods of time, as evidenced by contact-exposure studies. Because the 79-1683 isolate induced only enteritis, it was designated feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) 79-1683. The 79-1146 feline coronavirus isolate induced effusive abdominal FIP in specific-pathogen-free kittens after oronasal and intraperitoneal inoculation. Clinical signs of disease appeared within 12 to 14 days in almost all inoculated kittens. Because this isolate caused FIP, it was designated FIP virus (FIPV) 79-1146. Cross-protective immunity was not induced by the various coronavirus infections. Kittens preimmunized with the UCD strain of FECV (FECV-UCD) or with FECV-79-1683 were not immune to infection with FIPV-79-1146. Likewise, kittens previously inoculated with FECV-79-1683 were not immune to infection with FIPV-UCD1. In fact, preexisting heterologous FECV-79-1683 immunity often accelerated and enhanced the severity of disease caused by inoculation with FIPV-UCD1.

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Accession: 043891636

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PMID: 6084432

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