Differential recognition of peptides within feline coronavirus polyprotein 1 ab by sera from healthy cats and cats with feline infectious peritonitis.
ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to identify peptides within the polyprotein (Pp) 1?ab that are differentially recognised by cats with either enteric or systemic disease following infection with feline coronavirus. Overlapping 12-mer peptides (n?=?28,426) across the entire Pp1ab were arrayed on peptide chips and reacted with pooled sera from coronavirus seropositive cats and from one seronegative cat. Eleven peptides were further tested in ELISA with individual serum samples, and three were selected for further screening. Two peptides (16433 and 4934) in the nsp3 region encoding the papain 1 and 2 proteases were identified for final testing. Peptide 4934 reacted equally with positive sera from healthy cats and cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), while peptide 16433 was recognized predominantly by FIP-affected cats. The value of antibody tests based on these peptides in differentiating between the enteric and FIP forms of feline coronavirus infection remains to be determined.
Project description:Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease for which no simple antemortem diagnostic assay is available. A new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test has recently been developed that targets the spike protein region of the FIP virus (FIPV) and can identify specific mutations (M1030L or S1032A), the presence of which indicates a shift from feline enteric coronavirus (FeCV) to FIPV. This test will only be useful in the geographical region of interest, however, if the FIP viruses contain these mutations. The primary objective of this study was to determine the presence of the M1030L or S1032A mutations in FeCV derived from stool samples from a selected group of healthy cats from households and shelters and determine how many of these cats excrete FeCV. The secondary objective was to evaluate how often these specific FIPV mutations were present in tissue samples derived from cats diagnosed with FIP at postmortem examination. Feline enteric coronavirus (FeCV) was detected in 46% of fecal samples (86/185), all were FeCV type 1, with no difference between household or shelter cats. Only 45% of the FIPV analyzed contained the previously reported M1030L or S1032A mutations. It should be noted that, as the pathological tissue samples were opportunistically obtained and not specifically obtained for PCR testing, caution is warranted in interpreting these data.
Project description:There are two biotypes of feline coronavirus (FCoV): the self-limiting feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and the feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV), which causes feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a fatal disease associated with cats living in multi-cat environments. This study provides an insight on the various immune mediators detected in FCoV-positive cats which may be responsible for the development of FIP.In this study, using real-time PCR and multiplex bead-based immunoassay, the expression profiles of several immune mediators were examined in Crandell-Reese feline kidney (CRFK) cells infected with the feline coronavirus (FCoV) strain FIPV 79-1146 and in samples obtained from FCoV-positive cats. CRFK cells infected with FIPV 79-1146 showed an increase in the expression of interferon-related genes and pro-inflammatory cytokines such as MX1, viperin, CXCL10, CCL8, RANTES, KC, MCP1, and IL8. In addition, an increase in the expression of the above cytokines as well as GM-CSF and IFN? was also detected in the PBMC, serum, and peritoneal effusions of FCoV-positive cats. Although the expression of MX1 and viperin genes was variable between cats, the expression of these two genes was relatively higher in cats having peritoneal effusion compared to cats without clinically obvious effusion. Higher viral load was also detected in the supernatant of peritoneal effusions compared to in the plasma of FCoV-positive cats. As expected, the secretion of IL1?, IL6 and TNF? was readily detected in the supernatant of peritoneal effusions of the FCoV-positive cats.This study has identified various pro-inflammatory cytokines and interferon-related genes such as MX1, viperin, CXCL10, CCL8, RANTES, KC, MCP1, IL8, GM-CSF and IFN? in FCoV-positive cats. With the exception of MX1 and viperin, no distinct pattern of immune mediators was observed that distinguished between FCoV-positive cats with and without peritoneal effusion. Further studies based on definitive diagnosis of FIP need to be performed to confirm the clinical importance of this study.
Project description:Feline coronavirus (FCoV) varies greatly from causing subclinical or mild enteric infections to fatal feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The open reading frame (ORF) 7b of FCoV has been speculated to play a determining role in virulence as deletions were found to be associated with avirulent viruses. To further clarify the correlation between this gene and FIP, clinical samples from 20 cats that had succumbed to wet-type FIP and 20 clinically healthy FCoV-infected cats were analysed. The ORF7b from the peritoneal/pleural effusions of FIP cats and from the rectal swabs of healthy cats was amplified. Of the 40 FCoVs analysed, 32 were found to have an intact 7b gene whereas eight showed deletions of either three or 12 nucleotides. Surprisingly, among the eight viruses with deletions, three were from FIP diseased cats. These results show that deletions in the ORF7b gene are not constrained to low pathogenicity/enteric biotypes but also associated with pathogenicity/FIP biotypes of FCoV.
Project description:Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is endemic in feral cat populations and cat colonies, frequently preceding outbreaks of fatal feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). FCoV exhibits 2 biotypes: the pathogenic disease and a benign infection with feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). Uncertainty remains regarding whether genetically distinctive avirulent and virulent forms coexist or whether an avirulent form mutates in vivo, causing FIP. To resolve these alternative hypotheses, we isolated viral sequences from FCoV-infected clinically healthy and sick cats (8 FIP cases and 48 FECV-asymptomatic animals); 735 sequences from 4 gene segments were generated and subjected to phylogenetic analyses. Viral sequences from healthy cats were distinct from sick cats on the basis of genetic distances observed in the membrane and nonstructural protein 7b genes. These data demonstrate distinctive circulating virulent and avirulent strains in natural populations. In addition, 5 membrane protein amino acid residues with functional potential differentiated healthy cats from cats with FIP. These findings may have potential as diagnostic markers for virulent FIP-associated FCoV.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Feline coronavirus (FCoV) exists as two pathotypes, and FCoV spike gene mutations are considered responsible for the pathotypic switch in feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) pathogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of a real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) specifically designed to detect FCoV spike gene mutations at two nucleotide positions. It was hypothesized that this test would correctly discriminate feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) and feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). METHODS:The study included 63 cats with signs consistent with FIP. FIP was confirmed in 38 cats. Twenty-five control cats were definitively diagnosed with a disease other than FIP. Effusion and/or serum/plasma samples were examined by real-time RT-PCR targeting the two FCoV spike gene fusion peptide mutations M1058 L and S1060A using an allelic discrimination approach. Sensitivity, specificity, negative and positive predictive values including 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated. RESULTS:FIPV was detected in the effusion of 25/59 cats, one of them being a control cat with chronic kidney disease. A mixed population of FIPV/FECV was detected in the effusion of 2/59 cats; all of them had FIP. RT-PCR was negative or the pathotype could not be determined in 34/59 effusion samples. In effusion, sensitivity was 68.6% (95% CI 50.7-83.2), specificity was 95.8% (95% CI 78.9-99.9). No serum/plasma samples were positive for FIPV. CONCLUSIONS:Although specificity of the test in effusions was high, one false positive result occurred. The use of serum/plasma cannot be recommended due to a low viral load in blood.
Project description:Feline coronaviruses (FCoV) vary widely in virulence causing a spectrum of clinical manifestations reaching from subclinical course to fatal feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Independent of virulence variations they are separated into two different types, type I, the original FCoV, and type II, which is closely related to canine coronavirus (CCV). The prevalence of FCoV types in Austrian cat populations without FIP has been surveyed recently indicating that type I infections predominate. The distribution of FCoV types in cats, which had succumbed to FIP, however, was fairly unknown. PCR assays have been developed amplifying parts of the spike protein gene. Type-specific primer pairs were designed, generating PCR products of different sizes. A total of 94 organ pools of cats with histopathologically verified FIP was tested. A clear differentiation was achieved in 74 cats, 86% of them were type I positive, 7% type II positive, and 7% were positive for both types. These findings demonstrate that in FIP cases FCoV type I predominates, too, nonetheless, in 14% of the cases FCoV type II was detected, suggesting its causative involvement in cases of FIP.
Project description:In this study, the cytokine profiles of clinically healthy cats naturally infected with feline coronavirus (FCoV), of cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and of specific pathogen-free (SPF) cats were investigated in whole blood using a traditional reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay and a semi-quantitative method of analysis based on computerised quantification of positive bands. The low inter-assay coefficient of variation recorded demonstrated that this method is highly repeatable. Compared with SPF cats, cytokine production was upregulated in most of the samples from FCoV-positive non-symptomatic cats. The appearance of a case of FIP in the cattery was associated with an increased expression of cytokines, in particular there was an increased production of IL-1beta and IFN-gamma, suggesting that these cytokines might protect infected cats from the disease. This hypothesis was also supported by the low levels of IFN-gamma recorded in blood from cats with FIP.
Project description:Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a coronavirus-induced disease of cats, in which the immune system is known to play a crucial, but complex, role in the pathogenesis. This role is still incompletely understood, with involvement of both host and viral factors. To evaluate differential gene expression and pathway involvement in feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection and FIP, we applied next-generation RNA-sequencing of the mesenteric lymph nodes from cats with naturally-acquired FIP, as well as those with systemic FCoV infection without FIP, and those with neither. Viral infection was associated with upregulation of viral defenses regardless of the disease state, but to a greater degree in FIP. FIP was associated with higher pro-inflammatory pathway enrichment, whilst non-FIP FCoV-positive cats showed lower enrichment of humoral immunity pathways, below that of uninfected cats in the case of immunoglobulin production pathways. This host response is presumed to be protective. In FIP, downregulation of T cell-related processes was observed, which did not occur in non-FIP FCoV-positive cats. These results emphasize the importance of the host's immune balance in determining the outcome of the FCoV infection.
Project description:Recent evidence suggests that a mutation in the spike protein gene of feline coronavirus (FCoV), which results in an amino acid change from methionine to leucine at position 1058, may be associated with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Tissue and faecal samples collected post mortem from cats diagnosed with or without FIP were subjected to RNA extraction and quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) to detect FCoV RNA. In cats with FIP, 95% of tissue, and 81% of faecal samples were PCR-positive, as opposed to 22% of tissue, and 60% of faecal samples in cats without FIP. Relative FCoV copy numbers were significantly higher in the cats with FIP, both in tissues (P?<?0.001) and faeces (P?=?0.02). PCR-positive samples underwent pyrosequencing encompassing position 1058 of the FCoV spike protein. This identified a methionine codon at position 1058, consistent with the shedding of an enteric form of FCoV, in 77% of the faecal samples from cats with FIP, and in 100% of the samples from cats without FIP. In contrast, 91% of the tissue samples from cats with FIP and 89% from cats without FIP had a leucine codon at position 1058, consistent with a systemic form of FCoV. These results suggest that the methionine to leucine substitution at position 1058 in the FCoV spike protein is indicative of systemic spread of FCoV from the intestine, rather than a virus with the potential to cause FIP.
Project description:Interferon gamma (IFN-?) plays an important role in cell mediated responses against mutated feline coronavirus strains (FCoV) involved in the pathogenesis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The aim of this study was to establish a combined in silico and in vitro approach to assess feline leukocyte production of IFN-? in response to selected peptides of the nucleocapside protein (N) of FCoVs. To this aim, we designed, through a bioinformatic approach, 8 potentially immunogenic peptides from the protein N corresponding to sequences of residues 14, 182, 198 detected only in FCoVs from FIP cats (virulent strains), only in FCoVs from healthy cats (avirulent strains) and both in FIP and in healthy cats (mixed strains). The peptides or a sham solution were incubated with whole blood from 16 cats (7 healthy and 9 with chronic diseases other than FIP) and IFN-? concentration was measured on plasma using an ELISA system. RT-PCR expression of IFN-? mRNA was also evaluated after incubation of the peptides or a sham solution with whole blood from 4 clinically healthy cats. The mean plasma concentration of IFN-? in samples incubated with peptides decreased and the expression of IFN-?mRNA did not change compared with the sham solution, except for some cats with chronic diseases (which probably have a "pre-activated" immune response). These cats responded to "avirulent" or "mixed" peptides by increasing the concentration of IFN-? and the expression of IFN-? mRNA. The combined approach employed in this study allowed us to identify potentially immunogenic peptides of FCoV N protein that can modulate the production of IFN-? especially in cats with a "pre-activated" cell mediated response.