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Günther, Sonja; Felten, Sandra; Wess, Gerhard; Hartmann, Katrin; Weber, Karin (2018): Detection of feline Coronavirus in effusions of cats with and without feline infectious peritonitis using loop-mediated isothermal amplification. In: Journal of Virological Methods, Vol. 256: pp. 32-36
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Abstract

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a fatal disease in cats worldwide. The aim of this study was to test two commercially available reaction mixtures in a reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) assay to detect feline Coronavirus (FCoV) in body cavity effusions of cats with and without FIP, in order to minimize the time from sampling to obtaining results. RNA was extracted from body cavity effusion samples of 71 cats, including 34 samples from cats with a definitive diagnosis of FIP, and 37 samples of control cats with similar clinical signs but other confirmed diseases. Two reaction mixtures (Isothermal Mastermix, OptiGene Ltd.and PCRun (TM) Molecular Detection Mix, Biogal) were tested using the same primers, which were designed to bind to a conserved region of the FCoV membrane protein gene. Both assays were conducted under isothermal conditions (61 degrees C-62 degrees C). Using the Isothermal Mastermix of OptiGene Ltd., amplification times ranged from 4 and 39 min with a sensitivity of 35.3% and a specificity of 94.6% for the reported sample group. Using the PCRun (TM) Molecular Detection Mix of Biogal, amplification times ranged from 18 to 77 min with a sensitivity of 58.8% and a specificity of 97.3%. Although the RT-LAMP assay is less sensitive than real time reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR), it can be performed without the need of expensive equipment and with less hands-on time. Further modifications of primers might lead to a suitable in-house test and accelerate the diagnosis of FIP.