Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) - What's new in Diagnosis and Treatment
Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) is a devastating syndrome caused by infection of cats with feline Coronavirus (FCoV) a large, enveloped, positive-sense single stranded RNA virus. A spike protein mediates entry into host cells. Two serotypes are recognized. Type I is associated with most field strains and Type II formed from recombination events between FCoV and Canine Coronavirus. There are differences in transmembrane spike (S) gene and protein. Approximately 40% of cats are reported to be infected with FCoV with prevalence rates increasing to 90% within multicat households, although regional variation is expected.
Typical infection with FCoV results in mild intestinal signs. FCoV was thought to be confined to the intestine, however systemic FCoV infection has been demonstrated in healthy cats. Up to 10% of cats infected with FCoV will develop FIP.
Due to the high prevalence in many areas of FCoV, definitive diagnosis of FIP can be difficult. Making a definitive diagnosis is based on demonstrating appropriate signalment, history and examination findings and interpreting this together with laboratory data.
Cats are typically under 2 years of age and may be from multicat households. There is often a history of recent stress (e.g. neutering, rehoming etc), abdominal distension and dyspnoea. Physical examination findings include pyrexia, jaundice, effusions, uveitis and neurological changes. In a recent retrospective study of pyrexia in 106 cats from a referral centre, 20% of the cats had FIP...
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