Immunogenicity of Recombinant Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus Spike Protein in Mice and Kittens

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The gene encoding the fusogenic spike protein of the Coronavirus causing feline infectious peritonitis (FIPV) was recombined into the genome of vaccinia virus, strain WR. The recombinant induced spike protein specific, in vitro neutralizing antibodies in mice. When kittens were immunized with the recombinant, low titers of neutralizing antibodies were obtained. After challenge with FIPV, these animals succumbed earlier than the vWR-immunized control group (“early death syndrome”).