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A Tale of Two Viruses: The Distinct Spike Glycoproteins of Feline Coronaviruses

1
Department of Microbiology & Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Virologie et Immunologie Moléculaires, INRAE, Université Paris-Saclay, 78352 Jouy-en-Josas, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(1), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12010083
Received: 13 November 2019 / Revised: 23 December 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Viruses and Viral Diseases)
Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is a complex viral agent that causes a variety of clinical manifestations in cats, commonly known as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). It is recognized that FCoV can occur in two different serotypes. However, differences in the S protein are much more than serological or antigenic variants, resulting in the effective presence of two distinct viruses. Here, we review the distinct differences in the S proteins of these viruses, which are likely to translate into distinct biological outcomes. We introduce a new concept related to the non-taxonomical classification and differentiation among FCoVs by analyzing and comparing the genetic, structural, and functional characteristics of FCoV and the FCoV S protein among the two serotypes and FCoV biotypes. Based on our analysis, we suggest that our understanding of FIP needs to consider whether the presence of these two distinct viruses has implications in clinical settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: feline coronavirus; feline infectious peritonitis; spike protein; serotype; genetic characterization feline coronavirus; feline infectious peritonitis; spike protein; serotype; genetic characterization
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Jaimes, J.A.; Millet, J.K.; Stout, A.E.; André, N.M.; Whittaker, G.R. A Tale of Two Viruses: The Distinct Spike Glycoproteins of Feline Coronaviruses. Viruses 2020, 12, 83.

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