Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Principal Investigator: Gary Whittaker

Contact Information: Email:; Phone: 607-253-4019
Sponsor: Winn Feline Foundation
Grant Number: W 11-008
Title: Evolution of Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus within FIP Cats and Tissue-specific Adaptation of the Virus to Activating Proteases
Annual Direct Cost: $24,986
Project Period: 05/01/11-04/30/12

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a deadly disease of cats, caused by a viral infection. The virus normally resides in the gut of the cat, but can mutate and so infect the immune system of certain cats and then spread to other tissues (e.g. liver, brain). Based on an analysis of the genome sequence of viruses that infect different tissues, we propose that key changes in the surface protein of the virus adapt it to the different tissues. We propose to perform laboratory-based experiment post-mortem samples to define the sequences of the different viruses in the different tissues. Our work will characterize the changes that occur in the virus surface protein, allowing a more detailed understanding of the devastating disease of cats known as FIP, for which there remains no effective treatment.