Outbreak of feline infectious peritonitis in a shelter in Taiwan: epidemiological and molecular evidence of horizontal transmission of a new type II feline coronavirus

Ying-Ting Wang,1 Bi-Ling Su,2 Li-En Hsieh,1 and Ling-Ling Chueh1
Original article: An outbreak of feline infectious peritonitis in a Taiwanese shelter: epidemiologic and molecular evidence for horizontal transmission of a novel type II feline coronavirus
Czech translation partially taken from: Results Confirmation of the FIP outbreak in the cat shelter - Sevaron


Infectious feline peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease caused by feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection. FCoV can be divided into serotypes I and II. The virus that causes FIP (FIPV) is said to occur sporadically and does not often spread from one cat to another. An outbreak in one animal shelter in Taiwan was recently confirmed. FCoV from all cats in this shelter was analyzed to determine the epidemiology of this outbreak. Thirteen of the 46 (28,2%) cats with typical FIP symptoms were identified. Of these, FIP was confirmed in seven cats by necropsy or histopathological examination. Despite the fact that in this environment with more cats, more than one FCoV was identified, eight cats with symptoms of FIP were reliably found to be infected with FCoV type II. Sequence analysis revealed that FIPV type II, found from feline faeces, body effusions and granulomatous tissue homogenate from cats that underwent FIP, contained identical recombination in all cases. WITH gene. Two cats that succumbed to FIP were found to have an identical nonsense mutation in 3c gene. The excretion of this type II virus in faeces of the effusive form of FIP can be detected up to six days before the animal dies. In general, our data demonstrate that horizontal transmission of FIPV is possible and that FIP cats may pose a potential risk to other cats living in the same environment.


Infectious feline peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease of cats caused by feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection. FCoV is an enveloped RNA virus that belongs to the species Alphacoronavirus, family Coronaviridae and in order Nidovirales. The size of the FCoV genome is approximately 28.9 kb, including the nonstructural replication gene; four structural genes that encode spike (S), envelope, membrane, and nucleocapsid proteins; and five helper / nonstructural genes 3abca 7ab[1].

Feline coronaviruses cause mild, invisible, and transient bowel infections and are ubiquitous among cat populations worldwide [2]. They occur in two serotypes, I and II [man]3]. Type I FCoV predominates here, while type II virus represents only 2-30% infections [4-8]. Following the accumulation of genetic evidence, it is apparent that FCoV type II was formed by two homologous recombinations between FCoV type I and canine coronavirus CoV (CCoV) [9,10]. Both serotypes can mutate in the host, lead to macrophage tropism and a systemic disease called infectious feline peritonitis [cat]2,11,12]. Due to poor virus shedding in FIP studies in cats, mutant FIP viruses (FIP-inducing FCoV, FIPV) appear to be contained only in diseased tissues and are not naturally transmitted in cat-to-cat contact [2,11,13,14].

In this article, we report an epizootic FIP in a shelter in Taiwan that was caused by a new Type II FCoV. Epidemiological and molecular examination of isolates from various healthy and sick cats from this shelter strongly suggests that the virus was introduced by moving kittens from another shelter with subsequent horizontal spread to adult cats with which the new kittens shared the shelter.

Materials and methods

Animals and sampling

A total of 46 cats from a private shelter were included in this study, which ran from September 2011 to August 2012. This shelter houses adult cats and from time to time a few kittens. All the cats were either strayed or rescued, and some of them were obtained from the homes of various private rescue stations where the rescued cats were temporarily housed. Before the onset of the disease, all cats lived together in an indoor environment without cages, sharing food, drink and toilets. Some cats were siblings, others were not related to them (Table 1).

Table 1
Information on all cats from this shelter in which FIP was suspected and in which the disease was confirmed

Hot girlAge 1 Date of admission to the shelter Date of onset of fever Date of death Clinical findings Necropsy findings Effusive / non - fusive
13mJune 16, 2011August 17, 2011September 1, 2011Fever, anorexia, ascites, neurological symptoms  
2a4mAugust 6, 2011ON THE 2September 21, 2011Clinical signs are not available  
3b3mJuly 11, 2011August 18, 2011September 25, 2011Fever, anorexia, weight loss, neurological symptoms  
42.5mJun. 08, 2011August 16, 2011September 28, 2011Fever, ascites, neurological symptoms  
5a4mAugust 6, 2011August 15, 2011October 20, 2011Fever, pleural effusion, diarrhea  
67mApril 24, 2011ON THEOctober 22, 2011Anorexia, weight loss, neurological symptoms  
73y6mResidentON THEOctober 27, 2011 Ascites, jaundice, granulomatous lesions in the kidney, fibrinous peritonitisEffusive
86mJuly 11, 2011ON THEDecember 14, 2011 Granulomatous changes in the kidneys, liver, lungs, brain and eyes Non-fusible
92yResidentON THEDecember 28, 2011 Ascites, pleural effusion and pericardial effusion, granulomatous changes in the kidneys, liver and intestine.Effusive / non - fusive
10 b3mJuly 11, 2011ON THENovember 5, 2011 Granulomatous changes in the kidneys, liver and omentum Non-fusible
11 c1y6mResidentON THEFebruary 14, 2012 Ascites and pleural effusion, jaundice, fibrinous peritonitis, granulomatous changes in the kidneys, liver, lungs and spleen.Effusive / non - fusive
12 c1y6mResidentON THEMarch 19, 2012 Jaundice, fibrinous peritonitis, granulomatous changes in the thoracic and abdominal walls, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen omenta and eyes.Effusive / non - fusive
131y7mResidentON THEApril 13, 2012 Jaundice, enlargement of the liver and mesenteric lymph nodes, granulomatous changes in the kidneys and lungs.Non-fusible

1 Age of cats at the time of clinical signs of FIP.
2 Not available. 
a, b, c : siblings.

Faeces or rectal samples were taken from all asymptomatic cats at least once to monitor for FCoV. Body swabs, blood samples, swab specimens, including rectal, nasal, oral and conjunctival specimens, were taken as standard from cats that already showed signs of the disease or were suspected of having FIP. In addition to supportive care, cats with suspected FIP were treated with prednisolone (Prelon®, YF Chemical Corp., New Taipei City, Taiwan), benazepril (Cibacen®, Novartis, Barbera del Valles, Spain) and recombinant human interferon alpha (Roferon®-A). , Roche, Basel, Switzerland). Cats that succumbed to the disease were necropsied for pathological confirmation. During necropsy, body exudates were first removed with a needle and syringe, followed by swabs, blood, urine and granulomatous lesions on the internal organs. All samples were frozen at -20 ° C until use. All samples were tested for FCoV nested reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR) [man]15]. Samples with positive results were subsequently subjected to further analysis.

Sample preparation and reverse transcription

Swab samples were suspended in 1 ml of water treated with 0.1% diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC). Stool samples were suspended with 9x treated water 0.1% DEPC by vortexing. The suspension was centrifuged and the supernatant was transferred to a new tube. About 0.5 g of tissue was frozen and then crushed with a mortar and pestle in the presence of 2 ml of Trizol [16]. Total RNA was extracted from 300 μl of swab suspension, whole blood, faeces suspension, tissue homogenate and body effusion using Trizol. Twenty-one microliters of isolated RNA was reverse transcribed with specific primer N1 (5′-gctacaattgtatcctcaac-3 ′) or P211 [15] with Moloney mouse leukemia reverse transcription (Invitrogen, CA, USA). The reaction was incubated at 37 ° C for 60 min, at 72 ° C for 15 min and finally at 94 ° C for 5 min.

FCoV type determination by nested PCR

Nested PCR was performed for FCoV typing according to the procedures of Addie et al. [5] with a slight modification. After reverse transcription, 5 μl of complementary DNA was added to 25 μl of PCR mix (Invitrogen, CA, USA) according to the manufacturer's instructions for the following primer sets: S1 and Iffs to determine FCoV type I and S1 and Icfs to determine FCoV type II. Nested PCR was performed on 2 μl of the first PCR product using nested primers. The expected size of the second PCR achieved for type I and type II FCoV was 360 and 218 bp. RT-nPCR products were electrophoresed and then the target DNA fragments were purified (Geneaid Biotech, Ltd, Taipei) and sequenced (Mission Biotech, Taipei, Taiwan) - from both orientations.

Gene amplification, sequencing and analysis 3a and 3c  from FCoV type II

For amplification 3a of the FCoV type II gene from FIP cats, a set of specific primers was designed that is able to amplify from WITH type II gene to gen 3a. Complementary DNA, amplified with a primer set, targeted the 3 'end WITH FCoV type II gene (Icfs) and 5 ′ end 3a FCoVe gene (3aR2: 5′-caccaaaacctatacacacaag-3 ′). The temperature cycle was as follows: 5 minutes preheating at 94 ° C; 35 cycles of denaturation at 94 ° C for 20 s, annealing at 50 ° C for 20 s and extension at 72 ° C for 30 s; and final extension at 72 ° C for 5 minutes. This was followed by a second series of amplification using primers nIcfs and 3aR2; the expected product size was about 600 bp. Amplicons were electrophoresed, purified, and sequenced from both orientations to confirm nucleotide sequences.

For amplification 3c of the FCoV type II gene from FIP cats, a set of specific primers was designed that is able to amplify from WITH type II gene to gen 3c. Complementary DNA was amplified with forward primer (Icfs) and reverse primer (E68R: 5′-aatatcaatataattatctgctgga-3 ′ and N21R: 5′-gttcatctccccagttgacg-3 ′, respectively). The temperature cycle was as follows: 5 minutes preheating at 94 ° C; 40 cycles of denaturation at 94 ° C for 30 s, annealing at 46 ° C for 30 s and extension at 72 ° C for 90 s; and final extension at 72 ° C for 7 minutes. Following a second series of amplification using primers nIcfs and E68R, the products were electrophoresed, purified and sequenced from both orientations to confirm nucleotide sequences.

Phylogenetic analysis and recombinant analysis of FCoV type II

Several sequence alignments were performed using ClustalW 2.0 with manual editing in EditSeq (DNASTAR, Madison, USA). Phylogenetic analyzes were performed using MegAlign, version 7.2.1 (DNASTAR, Madison, USA). Bootscan and similar graphs were compiled using SimPlot 3.5.1 software (SCRoftware, Baltimore, USA).

The results

Confirmation of the FIP outbreak in the cat shelter

The shelter has been operating for three and a half years. Prior to August 2011, there were no records of FIP. The kittens (cats 1, 3, 4, 8 and 10) were moved to this shelter between June and July 2011. After arrival, these kittens played together and lived together with adult cats that lived here before. Prior to the outbreak, the kittens were individually taken to a veterinarian for vaccination and adoption visits. Fever was first detected in four kittens (cats 1, 3, 4, 5) within a few days (from 15 to 18 August) (Table 1). Clinical symptoms, e.g. fever, anorexia, neurological symptoms, shortness of breath and enlargement of the abdomen were observed over the next two months and the kittens gradually died between 1 September and 22 October (Table 1). Shelters from the shelter asked for our help on September 27. All cats housed in the shelter for a long time were immediately examined for FCoV using the RT-nPCR method. All FCoV-positive cats were isolated and kept separately. Nevertheless, starting in September, adult cats with FIP (cats 7-13) showed clinical signs similar to kittens, and all of these cats later died.

Six kittens (cats 1-6) with body effusions or neurological symptoms that succumbed in the first two months were not confirmed for necropsy (Table 1). Cat 1 was once brought to our teaching hospital and ascites (free fluid in the abdominal cavity) was taken from her. In cats 7-13, typical symptoms were found, namely ascites or pleural effusions in the body cavity (effusive FIP) and granulomatous lesions in some organs, especially in the kidneys, nuclei, lungs, omentum (forecourt) and eyes (non-effusive FIP). In cats 9, 11 and 12, necropsy showed a mixed form of the disease (Table 2) 1).

A total of 13 of the 46 cats (28.3%) died between September 2011 and April 2012 at FIP. At this time, 33 cats (71.7%) appeared to be clinically healthy and 26 of these asymptomatic cats (78.7%) were positive at least once for FCoV - detected from faeces using the RT-nPCR method. The other seven of these asymptomatic cats were negative for FCoV (Table 2) 2).

Table 2
Detection of the occurrence and type of FCoV from faeces samples in healthy cats from the same shelter

Hot girl
Oct. 2011Feb. 2012Jun. 2012 Jul. 2012
15-+- untypable
16++-- untypable
19- -+untypable
20- -+untypable
21- -- 
22++++- untypable
24-+- untypable
26- +-untypable
29- -- 
31-  - 
33- ++-untypable
34++   I
35- ++untypable
37  -  
38  + untypable
39 ++++I
40 -+-untypable
41 +-+untypable
42  +-untypable
43  -  
44   - 
45   - 
46  + untypable

++: FCoV detected in the first round of PCR.
+: FCoV detected only in nested PCR.

FIPV type II was found in all cats that succumbed to FIP

In order to further investigate the relationship between these seven histopathologically confirmed FIP cats, the amplified DNA was typed, sequenced and analyzed. FIPV type II was detected in all eight animals that succumbed to FIP, from swabs, faeces, urine, body effusions, cerebrospinal fluid, and tissue homogenates (Table 3). Type II viruses that cause FIP have been found not only in diseased tissue but also in faeces samples (cats 7, 11, 12 and 13), nasal / oral / conjunctival swab samples (cats 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12). ) and in urine collected by cystocentesis (cat 11) (Table 3). Although no necropsy was performed, ascites from cat 1 - the first cat to die in the shelter at FIP - were available for analysis. This cat was confirmed to be infected with type II virus. In healthy animals, only type I or FCoV was detected from faeces samples without type determination (Table 2) 2). Cats 8, 9 and 13 were infected with both types of FCoV (Table 2) 3). Although it has been found that in this environment with many cats there is more than one type of FCoV, ie. type I, II or non-typed viruses, FCoV type II infection was found in all eight FIP cats, whereas this was not the case in healthy animals (Tables 2 and33).

Table 3
Characteristics 3c FCoV genes obtained from different samples of FIP cats

Hot girlFCoV genotypeWITH instead of gene crossingIntegrity 3c geneb
1   II       4250and intact     
7IIII II IIIIIIIIII 4250intact intactintactintact intact
8III   +IIII+--        
9III II +II IIII+4250 G210 *   G210 *G210 *
10     ++IIII II4250    intact  
11IIIIIIII+IIIIII + 4250   E47 *   
12IIII IIII+IIII II+4250G210 *G210 *     
13 I / II  +++IIII+ 4250     Q218 * 

NIGHT, nose / mouth / conjunctival swabs; R / F, rectal swabs or stool samples; A / P, ascites or pleural effusion; CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; Li, liver; Lu, lungs; Ki, kidney; Br, brain; Sp, spleen; Int, gut.
+: FCoV positive, but virus type cannot be determined. -: FCoV negative.
a: FCoV / NTU2 / R / 2003; GenBank: DQ160294.
b: E47 *, G210 * and Q218 *: truncated 3c proteins with premature stop codons at amino acids 47, 210 and 218 were found.

FIPV type II of the same origin was found in cats that succumbed to FIP

To further investigate the relationship of these disease-causing type II viruses, which were isolated from cats that succumbed to FIP, sets of specific primers capable of specifically amplifying from the 3 'end were used to analyze viral sequences. WITH the type II gene has a subsequent gene. The identity of the 620 bp amplicons derived from the seven FIPV type II was approximately 98.7% to 99.8%. Phylogenetic analysis found that the type II FCoVs derived from the outbreak described above were all grouped into a separate cluster, which differs from the other four type II FCoVs currently available at GenBank, i. FIPV 79-1146 (GenBank: {“Type”: ”entrez-nucleotide”, “attrs”: {“text”: ”DQ010921 ″,” term_id ”:” 63098796 ″}} DQ010921), FCoV 79-1683 (GenBank: {“Type”: ”entrez-nucleotide”, “attrs”: {“text”: ”JN634064 ″,” term_id ”:” 384038902 ″}} JN634064), FCoV DF-2 (GenBank: {“Type”: ”entrez-nucleotide”, “attrs”: {“text”: ”DQ286389 ″,” term_id ”:” 87242672 ″}} DQ286389) and FCoV NTU156 (GenBank: {“Type”: ”entrez-nucleotide”, “attrs”: {“text”: ”GQ152141 ″,” term_id ”:” 240015188 ″}} GQ152141) (data not shown).

Recombination at the 3 ′ end WITH of the putative recombination site at nucleotide 4250 was determined in all FCoV type II animals obtained from body effusions and tissue homogenates in cats 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (Additional set 1) (Table 3). Sequences above this site show greater similarity to CCoV, whereas sequences beyond this site were more similar to type I FCoV (Fig. 1). 1). Indeed, these findings suggest that FCoV type II, found in all FIP cats, has a common origin.

Figure 1
FIPV recombination from cats 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 on the S gene. Alignment of the 3 ′ end of the S gene with subsequent FCoV genes isolated from seven FIP cats with FCoV type I and CCoV. The light and dark shaded regions include greater similarity to CCoV and FCoV type I. The predicted recombination event occurred at nucleotide 4250 based on comparison to FCoV NTU2 and is indicated by an arrow. Sequences were obtained from FIPV found in individual samples and tissues and are summarized. NIGHT: swabs from the nose / mouth / conjunctiva; RS: rectal swabs; As: ascites; PE: pleural effusion; Li: liver; Lu: lungs; Ki: kidneys; Br: brain; Sp: spleen; dbd: days before death. GenBank accession number: FCoV C1Je (GenBank: DQ848678), FCoV Black (GenBank: EU186072), FCoV NTU2 (GenBank: DQ160294) and CCoV NTU336 (GenBank: GQ477367).

Identical nonsensical mutation on 3c The gene was found in two cats that succumbed to FIP

In order to further analyze the relationship of these FIPVs, they were 3c genes, a proposed virulence-associated FIP, are amplified from the disease-causing FCoV type II. Mutated 3c genes with identical premature stop codon at nucleotides 628-630 (amino acids 210, G210 *) were found in two FIP cats, cat 9 (ascites, spleen and brain) and 12 (ascites and rectal swabs from the day the cat died and four days previously) (Fig. 2A). It is worth noting that FIPV, obtained from cat 12, showed the same nonsense mutation as the virus in its ascites. Intact 3c the genes were discovered in cats 1, 7 and 10, which had previously succumbed to FIP. Two other clear / different nonsense mutations were found in cats 11 (E47 *) and 13 (Q218 *) (Fig. 1). 2AB, Table 3).

Figure 2:
Alignment of complete FIPV 3c genes from cats 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. (A) The full length 3c genes analyzed in this study were aligned with FCoV type I, FCoV NTU2. The sequences were obtained from FIPV found in individual samples and tissues and are listed together. The box represents the identified premature stop codons. (B) The diagram shows the location of premature stop codons (PT) of gene 3c from different samples from different FIP cats.

FIPV type II excretion can be detected in the terminal phase in FIP cats

The occurrence of FCoV was continuously analyzed to elucidate a possible route of FIPV secretion and transmission. Disease-associated FCoV type II was found to be excreted by the nasal / oral / conjunctival route and faeces (Table 4). Faecal and nasal / oral / conjunctival type II shedding can be detected from day 6 (cat 11) and from day 4 (cat 12) before death. Viremia can be detected during the terminal stage in cats suffering from FIP up to 18 days before death, and concomitant faecal excretion was detected in one cat (cat 12) (Table 4).

Table 4
Excretion and serotypes of feline coronavirus detected in FIP cats in a cat shelter

Hot girlSampleDays before death
9Feces I            I  II
 NIGHT tampons                 II
 Viremie              II  +
 Efuze              IIII II
11Feces     - -    -  II II
 NIGHT tampons            -  - II
 Viremie       -    -- - -
 Efuze     +           II
12Feces-+- ---------+  IIII
 NIGHT tampons    ----------  IIII
 Viremie- - -------II++  - 
 EfuzeII                II

+: FCoV positive; -: FCoV negative.
I, II: FCoV type I or type II.
*: Samples were taken immediately before euthanasia, except for cat 12, which were sampled after death.


The possibility of horizontal transmission is generally questioned in FIP because (i) the occurrence of FIP is sporadic and it is common for only one of them to develop FIP in an environment with a large number of cats [2]; (ii) internal mutation theory, which describes that FIPV is a mutant generated from enteric FCoV in one cat [12,17]; (iii) there is insufficient evidence that the mutant FIPV is eliminated from FIP cats; and (iv) mutations 3c gene is unique for every FIP cat [man]11,13,18]. The current belief is that cats that have succumbed to FIP do not excrete and pass FIPV to other cats [11,13,14,18-20]. Our data indicate that this outbreak of FIP was caused by viruses of the same origin. First, all cats that died of FIP had a type II infection, and recombination of these seven type II viruses was located at the same site. Recombination of type II viruses currently available in the genetic bank, i.e. FIPV 79-1146, FCoV 79-1683 and FCoV NTU156, were all unique, specific and occurred independently [9,10]. Second, FIPV, found in three kittens that died within the first two months after the onset of fever, had an intact 3c gene, whereas viruses from cats that survived longer (died four to eight months later) all contained a nonsensical mutation, i. G210 * (cats 9 and 12), E47 * (cat 11) and Q218 * (cat 13). Because the three nonsense mutations found in FIPV in these animals were all located at different sites, the viruses that originally infected these cats should be intact. 3c gene - similar to the virus found in kittens that died earlier. Following infection, local mutations occurred during virus replication in individual cats, resulting in FIPV with 3c a gene that carries meaningless mutations in different places. The finding that viruses, which were identified not only in tissues but also in faecal samples in two cats (cats 9 and 12), had an identical mutation in 3c gene, further confirmed that there was a horizontal transfer (Table 2) 3). Taken together, all of these findings demonstrated that highly virulent FIPV spread horizontally from one animal to another.

This is the first report of an FIPV type II outbreak with evidence of horizontal disease-causing FCoV transmission. The FIP broke out after five kittens (cats 1, 3, 4, 8 and 10) entered this shelter between June and July 2011. Because causative type II viruses with a specific genetic marker in the S gene have been confirmed as feline and canine coronavirus recombination, and some of the kittens that died earlier were found to have lived together or next to dogs between rescue and transport to the shelter. of these kittens may have been the source of this type II virus. Dogs and especially young dogs often shed large amounts of canine coronavirus in their faeces in shelters, and recombination between feline-canine and canine-feline coronavirus is already well documented [man]21-23]. In addition, type II causative viruses have been detected in a number of excreta and secretions in cats that have died of FIP (Table 3), demonstrating that it is possible to spread between cats.

Although immediately after the first examination of all animals from this FCoV shelter, FCoV-secreting cats were housed in separate cages and transmission subsequently ceased, mortality at the onset of the disease was high (28%, 13/46). The results of three studies that looked at the outbreak of FIP have been reported earlier. The results of a four-year study conducted at a nearby cat kennel showed an average mortality of 17.3% [24]; the mortality rate from a ten-year study conducted at a nearby kennel was 29.4% (5/17) [25]. Another epidemic study conducted in seven kennels / shelters revealed >10% mortality [20]. The high incidence of FIP in these closed breeding stations could be influenced by genetically predisposed breeding animals. In our study, only a few FIP cats in this shelter were siblings and the other cats were not genetically related. Our study shows that even without the influence of genetic predisposing factors, FIP mortality can be high in a confined environment with a large number of cats if the spread of FCoV, which causes the disease, remains undetected.

In this environment with a large number of cats, three FIP cats were infected not only with FCoV type II, but also co-infected with FCoV type I (Table 3). Type I FCoV was found only in faecal samples, while type II FCoV was found in various samples, including body effusions, granulomatous tissue homogenates, and cerebrospinal fluid. This finding indicates that FCoV type II was a major cause of FIP in these doubly infected animals. This finding is consistent with our previous finding that FCoV type II infection is significantly associated with FIP [4].

The presence of FCoV in whole blood in the terminal phase has been identified previously [26,27]; however, to our knowledge, the presence of FIPV in faeces prior to the final stage of the disease was not published anywhere until our study. The excretion of this type II virus in faeces and by the nasal / oral / conjunctival route can be detected in the effusive form of FIP up to six days before the death of the animal. Another experimental study of the infection showed that inoculated viruses could not be detected until about two weeks after inoculation, before clinical signs of the disease developed [14]. In summary, FIPV transmission could occur at the beginning, before the manifestations of the disease and in the terminal phase. When the disease broke out in our case, all the cats were initially placed together in an open room. After seven cats gradually succumbed to the disease, all FCoV-positive cats were housed separately in cages and kept separately. Isolation probably inhibited disease transmission. This outbreak of disease, which killed 13 cats, allowed us to make it clear that FIPV can be transmitted horizontally and to show that the isolation of sick cats should be taken into account in an environment where more cats are present.

Competitive interests

The authors claim that they have no competitive interests.

Contributions and contributions of authors

YTW performed sampling and preparation, FCoV detection, type determination, amplification 3c gene and other analyzes and compiled a manuscript. The BLS supervised the sampling and treatment of all FIP animals and contributed to the compilation of the manuscript. LEH participated in the amplification 3c gene, genetic analysis and manuscript preparation. The LLC devised the study, participated in the design of the study, coordinated and participated in the preparation of the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.

Additional material

Additional file 1:

FIPV recombination site analysis in cats 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 at WITH gene. Analysis of the plot similarity using the Kimur (two-parameter) distance model, the model of adjacent interconnected trees, and 100 replicates of the bootstrap showed that recombination had occurred and the putative crossing point is indicated by an arrow. 


The authors would like to thank the caregivers in the mentioned cat shelter, without whose help this study would not have been possible.


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