The diagnosis of FIP in cats remains a difficult challenge for veterinarians. The agent of FIP is a common virus and in most cases causes no disease. There are not specific markers for all cases of FIP. The mutations in the virus that have been identified associated with FIP may not be the only contributors to the condition. Additional parameters may be important in aiding the diagnosis of FIP. Markers in the immune response may hold promise as a diagnostic assay. The goals of this study were to evaluate the immune mediators such as cytokines present in feline coronavirus infected cats.
In cell cultures infected with feline coronavirus, interferon associated cytokines were elevated as were pro-inflammatory cytokines. Similar changes were observed in the white blood cells of virus-infected cats. Unfortunately, no distinct patterns of immune mediators were able to distinguish cats with and without FIP. As the authors state,” Future studies on FIP confirmed cases need to be carried out to further establish the importance of the different immune mediators in the development of FIP.” (MK)