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Frequency of electrophoretic changes consistent with feline infectious peritonitis in two different time periods (2004–2009 vs 2013–2014)

Stranieri, Angelica, Giordano, Alessia, Bo, Stefano, Braghiroli, Chiara, Paltrinieri, Saverio
agar gel electrophoresis, albumins, blood serum, capillary zone electrophoresis, cats, databases, feline infectious peritonitis, gamma-globulins, hypoalbuminemia, protein content
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether the frequency of electrophoretic changes in serum of cats with feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) changed in recent years vs past years. Agarose gel electrophoresis (AGE) and capillary zone electrophoresis (CZE) from cats with FIP and healthy cats recorded in the periods 2004–2009 and 2013–2014 were retrospectively analysed. Relative and absolute values of each electrophoretic fraction were recorded and the number of cats showing single or combined electrophoretic changes consistent with FIP (hypoalbuminaemia, inverted albumin to globulin [A:G] ratio, increased total protein, total globulin, alpha [α]₂-globulin and gamma [γ]-globulin concentration) were counted. Additionally, a visual analysis of electrophoretograms was also performed. Results for the two time periods were statistically compared. The details of 91 AGE procedures (41 from cats with FIP and 50 from healthy cats) and 45 CZE procedures (26 from cats with FIP and 19 from healthy cats) were obtained from the database. No significant differences between the two time periods were found both in FIP and in healthy cats analysed with CZE and in healthy cats analysed with AGE. Compared with 2004–2009, cats with FIP sampled in 2013–2014 with AGE showed a significantly lower concentration of total protein, γ-globulins and total globulins, and a significantly higher A:G ratio and percentage of albumin and α₂-globulins. Using both AGE and CZE, in recent years the proportion of cats with high α2-globulins without gammopathy and the proportion of cats with gammopathy alone decreased. With a visual approach, the number of patterns considered as dubious increased in the second period with AGE (non-statistically significant). The frequency of electrophoretic abnormalities in cats with FIP decreased in recent years, independently of the technique employed. Although the mechanism responsible for this change was not investigated in this study, this altered frequency may decrease the diagnostic accuracy of serum protein electrophoresis for FIP.