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Discrepancies between feline coronavirus antibody and nucleic acid detection in effusions of cats with suspected feline infectious peritonitis
- Lorusso, Eleonora, Mari, Viviana, Losurdo, Michele, Lanave, Gianvito, Trotta, Adriana, Dowgier, Giulia, Colaianni, Maria Loredana, Zatelli, Andrea, Elia, Gabriella, Buonavoglia, Domenico, Decaro, Nicola
- Research in veterinary science 2019 v.125 pp. 421-424
- Feline coronavirus, RNA, antibodies, cats, feline infectious peritonitis, fluorescent antibody technique, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction
- Intra-vitam diagnosis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a challenge for veterinary diagnosticians, since there are no highly specific and sensitive assays currently available. With the aim to contribute to fill this diagnostic gap, a total of 61 effusions from cats with suspected effusive FIP were collected intra-vitam for detection of feline coronavirus (FCoV) antibodies and RNA by means of indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) assay and real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), respectively. In 5 effusions there was no evidence for either FCoV RNA or antibodies, 51 and 52 specimens tested positive by IIF and qRT-PCR, respectively, although antibody titres≥1:1600, which are considered highly suggestive of FIP, were detected only in 37 effusions. Three samples with high antibody levels tested negative by qRT-PCR, whereas 18 qRT-PCR positive effusions contained no or low-titre antibodies. qRT-PCR positive samples with low antibody titres mostly contained low FCoV RNA loads, although the highest antibody titres were detected in effusions with CT values>30. In conclusion, combining the two methods, i.e., antibody and RNA detection would help improving the intra-vitam diagnosis of effusive FIP.