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Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Natural Feline Coronavirus Infection on the Host Immune Response: A Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of the Mesenteric Lymph Nodes in Cats with and without Feline Infectious Peritonitis

1
Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Centre for Clinical Studies, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
3
Functional Genomics Center Zurich, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
4
Langford Clinical Veterinary Service, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
5
Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
6
Clinical Laboratory, Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, CH 8057 Zürich, Switzerland
7
The Linnaeus Group, Shirley, Solihull B90 1BN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current address: Easter Bush Pathology, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Campus, University of Edinburgh, Roslin, EH25 9RQ Midlothian, UK.
Pathogens 2020, 9(7), 524; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9070524
Received: 18 May 2020 / Revised: 18 June 2020 / Accepted: 22 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feline Infectious Peritonitis)
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a coronavirus-induced disease of cats, in which the immune system is known to play a crucial, but complex, role in the pathogenesis. This role is still incompletely understood, with involvement of both host and viral factors. To evaluate differential gene expression and pathway involvement in feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection and FIP, we applied next-generation RNA-sequencing of the mesenteric lymph nodes from cats with naturally-acquired FIP, as well as those with systemic FCoV infection without FIP, and those with neither. Viral infection was associated with upregulation of viral defenses regardless of the disease state, but to a greater degree in FIP. FIP was associated with higher pro-inflammatory pathway enrichment, whilst non-FIP FCoV-positive cats showed lower enrichment of humoral immunity pathways, below that of uninfected cats in the case of immunoglobulin production pathways. This host response is presumed to be protective. In FIP, downregulation of T cell-related processes was observed, which did not occur in non-FIP FCoV-positive cats. These results emphasize the importance of the host’s immune balance in determining the outcome of the FCoV infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: RNA-seq; next-generation sequencing; cell mediated immunity; humoral immunity; FCoV; FIP RNA-seq; next-generation sequencing; cell mediated immunity; humoral immunity; FCoV; FIP
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Malbon, A.J.; Russo, G.; Burgener, C.; Barker, E.N.; Meli, M.L.; Tasker, S.; Kipar, A. The Effect of Natural Feline Coronavirus Infection on the Host Immune Response: A Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of the Mesenteric Lymph Nodes in Cats with and without Feline Infectious Peritonitis. Pathogens 2020, 9, 524.

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