Detection of feline coronavirus RNA in feces, ...
|Title||Detection of feline coronavirus RNA in feces, tissues, and body fluids of naturally infected cats by reverse transcriptase PCR|
|Author(s)||A. A. Herrewegh, R. J. de Groot, Arnost Cepica, H. F. Egberink, M. C. Horzinek, P. J. Rottier|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Microbiology|
|Abstract||A nested reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-nPCR) was developed for the detection of feline coronavirus (FCoV) RNA in the feces, tissues, and body fluids of infected cats. The RT-nPCR was targeted to the highly conserved 3'-untranslated region of the viral genome and will detect most, if not all, feline coronaviruses in the field. With the RT-nPCR, FCoV RNA was detected in plasma samples from experimentally infected cats as early as 2 days postinoculation. FCoV RNA was also detected in serum, plasma, or ascitic fluid samples from 14 of 18 cats (78%) with naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). The use of RT-PCR for FIP diagnosis is limited because of the occurrence of apparently healthy FCoV carriers. These asymptomatic cats shed the virus in the feces and, in a number of cases, also had detectable virus in the plasma. Because of the nature of FCoV infections, our RT-PCR assay with plasma or serum cannot be used to establish a definite diagnosis of FIP. However, this assay does provide a new means to identify asymptomatic FCoV carriers. As such, RT-nPCR will be of use to screen cats before their introduction into FCoV-free catteries. Moreover, this assay provides an important tool to study the epidemiology of FCoV.|
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