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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 572325, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/572325
Research Article

Intrahost Diversity of Feline Coronavirus: A Consensus between the Circulating Virulent/Avirulent Strains and the Internal Mutation Hypotheses?

1Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, Cidade Universitária, 05508-270 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Coronavirus Research Group, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, Cidade Universitária, 05508-270 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Department of Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, Avenida Professor Dr. Orlando Marques de Paiva 87, Cidade Universitária, 05508-270 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 3 February 2013; Accepted 28 February 2013

Academic Editors: G. T. Pharr, J. L. Romalde, and B. I. Yoon

Copyright © 2013 Aline S. Hora et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

To evaluate the most controversial issue concerning current feline coronavirus (FCoV) virology, the coexisting hypotheses of the intrahost and interhost origins of feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) in regard to the pathogenesis of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), this study aimed to assess the molecular diversity of the membrane gene FCoVs in 190 samples from 10 cats with signs of FIP and in 5 faecal samples from cats without signs of FIP. All samples from the non-FIP cats and 25.26% of the samples from the FIP cats were positive for the FCoV membrane (M) gene. Mutations in this gene consisted of SNP changes randomly scattered among the sequences; few mutations resulted in amino acid changes. No geographic pattern was observed. Of the cats without FIP that harboured FECoV, the amino acid sequence identities for the M gene were 100% among cats (Cats 1–3) from the same cattery, and the overall sequence identity for the M gene was ≥91%. In one cat, two different lineages of FCoV, one enteric and one systemic, were found that segregated apart in the M gene tree. In conclusion, the in vivo mutation transition hypothesis and the circulating high virulent-low virulent FCoV hypothesis have been found to be plausible according to the results obtained from sequencing the M gene.