< Back to previous page


Establishment of feline intestinal epithelial cell cultures for the propagation and study of feline enteric coronaviruses

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is the most feared infectious cause of death in cats, induced by feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV). This coronavirus is a virulent mutant of the harmless, ubiquitous feline enteric coronavirus (FECV). To date, feline coronavirus (FCoV) research has been hampered by the lack of susceptible cell lines for the propagation of serotype I FCoVs. In this study, long-term feline intestinal epithelial cell cultures were established from primary ileocytes and colonocytes by simian virus 40 (SV40) T-antigen-and human Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (hTERT)-induced immortalization. Subsequently, these cultures were evaluated for their usability in FCoV research. Firstly, the replication capacity of the serotype II strains WSU 79-1683 and WSU 79-1146 was studied in the continuous cultures as was done for the primary cultures. In accordance with the results obtained in primary cultures, FCoV WSU 79-1683 still replicated significantly more efficient compared to FCoV WSU 79-1146 in both continuous cultures. In addition, the cultures were inoculated with faecal suspensions from healthy cats and with faecal or tissue suspensions from FIP cats. The cultures were susceptible to infection with different serotype I enteric strains and two of these strains were further propagated. No infection was seen in cultures inoculated with FIPV tissue homogenates. In conclusion, a new reliable model for FCoV investigation and growth of enteric field strains was established. In contrast to FIPV strains, FECVs showed a clear tropism for intestinal epithelial cells, giving an explanation for the observation that FECV is the main pathotype circulating among cats.
ISSN: 0928-4249
Volume: 44
BOF-publication weight:10
CSS-citation score:2
Authors from:Higher Education