Feline leucocyte antigen class II polymorphism and susceptibility to feline infectious peritonitis

Diane D. Addie, Lorna J. Kennedy, Ruth Ryvar, K. Willoughby, R. M. Gaskell, W. E R Ollier, Pablo Nart, Alan D. Radford

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There are four outcomes to feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection: the development of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP, which is immune-mediated), subclinical infection, development of healthy lifelong carriers and a small minority of cats who resist infection (Addie and Jarrett, Veterinary Record 148 (2001) 649). Examination of the FCoV genome has shown that the same strain of virus can produce different clinical manifestations, suggesting that host genetic factors may also play a role in the outcome of infection. FIP is most prevalent amongst pedigree cats, although how much of this is due to them living in large groups (leading to higher virus challenge and stress which predisposes to FIP) and how much is due to genetic susceptibility is not known. If host genetics could be shown to play a role in disease, it may allow the detection of cats with a susceptibility to FIP and the development of increased population resistance through selective breeding. The feline leucocyte antigen (FLA) complex contains many genes that are central to the control of the immune response. In this preliminary study, we used clonal sequence analysis or reference strand conformational analysis (RSCA) to analyse the class II FLA-DRB of 25 cats for which the outcome of FCoV exposure was known. Individual cats were shown to have between two and six FLA-DRB alleles. There was no statistically significant association between the number of alleles and the outcome of FCoV infection. No particular allele appeared to be associated with either the development of FIP, resistance to FCoV, or the carrier status. However, the analysis was complicated by apparent breed variation in FLA-DRB and the small number of individuals in this study. © 2004 ESFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-62
    Number of pages3
    JournalJournal of Feline Medicine and Surgery
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


    • Animals
    • virology: Cat Diseases
    • Cats
    • immunology: Coronavirus, Feline
    • Disease Susceptibility
    • virology: Feline Infectious Peritonitis
    • classification: Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
    • Polymorphism (Genetics)
    • Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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