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Open Access Short report

Isolation and molecular characterization of type I and type II feline coronavirus in Malaysia

Alazawy Amer12, Arshad Siti Suri1*, Omar Abdul Rahman1, Hair Bejo Mohd1, Bande Faruku1, Sharif Saeed1 and Tengku Ibrahim Tengku Azmi3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor 43400, Malaysia

2 Iraq, Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Diyala, Diyala, Iraq

3 Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, UPM Serdang, Selangor, 43400, Malaysia

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:278  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-278

Published: 21 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) and feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) are two important coronaviruses of domestic cat worldwide. Although FCoV is prevalent among cats; the fastidious nature of type I FCoV to grow on cell culture has limited further studies on tissue tropism and pathogenesis of FCoV. While several studies reported serological evidence for FCoV in Malaysia, neither the circulating FCoV isolated nor its biotypes determined. This study for the first time, describes the isolation and biotypes determination of type I and type II FCoV from naturally infected cats in Malaysia.

Findings

Of the total number of cats sampled, 95% (40/42) were RT-PCR positive for FCoV. Inoculation of clinical samples into Crandell feline kidney cells (CrFK), and Feline catus whole fetus-4 cells (Fcwf-4), show cytopathic effect (CPE) characterized by syncytial cells formation and later cell detachment. Differentiation of FCoV biotypes using RT-PCR assay revealed that, 97.5% and 2.5% of local isolates were type I and type II FCoV, respectively. These isolates had high sequence homology and phylogenetic similarity with several FCoV isolates from Europe, South East Asia and USA.

Conclusions

This study reported the successful isolation of local type I and type II FCoV evident with formation of cytopathic effects in two types of cell cultures namely the CrFK and Fcwf-4 , where the later cells being more permissive. However, the RT-PCR assay is more sensitive in detecting the antigen in suspected samples as compared to virus isolation in cell culture. The present study indicated that type I FCoV is more prevalent among cats in Malaysia.

Keywords:
FCoV; FIPV; CrFK; Fcwf-4; S-gene; Phylogenetics; Cats; Malaysia