Epidemiological investigation of feline infectious peritonitis in cats living in Harbin, Northeast China from 2017 to 2019 using a combination of an EvaGreen-based real-time RT-PCR and serum chemistry assays

In this study, we isolated a wild-type FIPV HRB-17 epidemic strain from the blood sample of household pet cat exhibiting the characteristic wet-form FIP symptoms, which has been confirmed further by animal infection. Further, we developed an EvaGreen-based real-time RT-PCR assay for the accurate detection of FCoV based on the amplification of the highly conserved FIPV N gene. Then, using a combination of the real-time RT-PCR approach and a serum chemistry assay, we performed an epidemiological survey of FIPV infection in cats living in Harbin City, Northeast China. The results indicated that the EvaGreen-based real-time RT-PCR assay can be used for screening FCoV infection in the affected cats at an analytical detection limit of 8.2 × 101 viral genome copies/μL, but could not effectively distinguish FIPVs from FECVs. Additionally, the results of the epidemiological survey investigating feline blood samples (n = 1523) collected between July 2017 to July 2019 revealed an FIPV prevalence of approximately 12% (189/1523). Maybe, the prevalence would be less than 12% due to the real-time RT-PCR assay could not accurately differentiate FIPV and FECV. Nevertheless, it still highlighted the severity of the FIP epidemic in cats and reiterated the urgent need to develop effective anti-FIP therapeutic agents and anti-FIPV vaccines. As pet cats are household animals, risk communication and continuous region-extended surveillance cat programs are recommended.
Source: Molecular and Cellular Probes - Category: Molecular Biology Source Type: research

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