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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Recombinant feline coronaviruses as vaccine candidates confer protection in SPF but not in conventional cats

Balint, Adam; Farsang, Attila; Szeredi, Levente; Zadori, Zoltan; Belák, Sándor


Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) is a major pathogen of Felidae. Despite the extensive efforts taken in the past decades, development of the "ideal" live attenuated FIPV vaccine was not successful yet. In the present study, we provide data of immunisation experiments with a recombinant FCoV pair differing only in the truncation (PBFIPV-DF-2) or completion (PBFIPV-DF-2-R3i) of their ORF3abc regions. In our previous in vivo studies, these viruses proved to show the characters of low virulent or avirulent FCoV phenotypes, respectively. Therefore, we hypothesised the ability of these viruses, as possible vaccine candidates, in conferring protection in specific pathogen free (SPF) Domestic Shorthair as well as in conventional purebred British Shorthair cats. In SPF cats, after two oronasal and two intramuscular vaccinations with two weeks intervals, both vaccine candidates provided 100% protection against lethal homologous challenge with the highly virulent FIPV DF-2 strain. In contrast, the conventional purebred British Shorthair cats did not develop protection when they were immunised with the same vaccination regimes. In these groups 100% of the PBFIPV-DF-2-R3i immunised animals developed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). Prolonged survival was observed in 40% of the animals, while 60% showed fulminant disease course. Genetic and more probably immunological differences between the SPF and non-SPF purebred kittens can explain the different outcome of the vaccination experiment. Our data highlight the diverse immune responses between SPF and conventional cats and suggest a decisive role of previous infection by heterologous causative agents in the outcome of the vaccination against FIP. (C) 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Feline coronavirus; Feline infectious peritonitis; Vaccine; Protection

Published in

Veterinary Microbiology
2014, volume: 169, number: 3-4, pages: 154-162

Authors' information

Balint, Adam
Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate
Farsang, Attila
Directorate of Veterinary Medicinal Products
Szeredi, Levente
Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate
Zadori, Zoltan
Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Belák, Sándor (Belak, Sandor)
National Veterinary Institute (SVA)

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

Publication Identifiers


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