Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) usually affects kittens. To date no cure has been found and it is fatal. There is a drug called polyprenyl immunostimulant (PI) that may prolong life in cats with the dry form of FIP. FIP, which attacks white blood cells, is believed to be a mutation of Feline Enteric Coronavirus (FECV)that is normally benign and causes only mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
There is a test for FECV, but it can’t tell the difference between that and FIP.
The Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine researchers believe they have discovered the reason for the changes into FIPV. The mutation appears to transform from the benign coronavirus in the cat’s intestinal tract into a virulent form that spreads very quickly through the cat’s body, resulting in death.
This discovery, if proven to be correct, can mean the development of a test to tell the differences between the viruses and can lead eventually to a vaccine that will prevent this disease.