Disease outcome and cytokine responses in cats immunized with an avirulent feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV)-UCD1 and challenge-exposed with virulent FIPV-UCD8

J Feline Med Surg. 2004 Apr;6(2):89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jfms.2003.08.009.


Eight cats were immunized with an avirulent strain of feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV)-UCD1, then challenge-exposed to a highly virulent cat passaged strain (FIPV-UCD8). Th1 and Th2 cytokine profiles in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were measured throughout in the experiment. No clinical signs of FIP were evident in the experimental cats after immunization. After challenge, the immunized cats demonstrated one of four clinical outcomes: (1) classical effusive FIP; (2) accelerated FIP; (3) non-effusive FIP, or (4) resistance to challenge. Only minor cytokine changes were observed following immunization, however, several cytokine changes occurred following challenge-exposure. The most noteworthy changes were in tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) levels. Our preliminary findings suggest that immunity against FIP is associated with TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma response imbalance, with high TNF-alpha/low IFN-gamma mRNA responses favouring disease and low TNF-alpha/high IFN-gamma mRNA responses being indicative of immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Coronavirus, Feline / classification
  • Coronavirus, Feline / immunology*
  • Coronavirus, Feline / pathogenicity*
  • Cytokines / blood
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Vaccination / veterinary
  • Vaccines, Attenuated*
  • Viral Vaccines*


  • Cytokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vaccines, Attenuated
  • Viral Vaccines