Feline Coronavirus (FCoV)

The etiological agent of severe disease in domestic and wild felids is feline coronavirus (FCoV). FCoV infection is widespread in both domestic and wild feline populations. Seroprevalence rates in single-cat households range from 25% to 75-100% in group-housed settings. Creative Biolabs now provides anti-FCoV antibodies and customized antibody services to support FCoV research.


FCoV is thought to have two distinct biotypes: feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) (FIPV). FECV causes enteric disease with no or only mild clinical signs, whereas FIPV causes fatal systemic disease known as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Despite the fact that FECV is highly contagious, FIP transmission from cat to cat is uncommon.


FCoV is a member of the genus Alpha-coronavirus, which is a subfamily of the family Coronaviridae in the order Nidovirales. FCoV virions are typically spherical with moderate pleomorphism, with sizes ranging from 80 to 120 nm and club-like surface projections or spikes measuring 12-24 nm. It is an enveloped virus with a 29 kb capped polyadenylated RNA genome.

There are 11 open reading frames in the FCoV genome (ORFs). The gene order on the FCoV genome is similar to that of other coronaviruses. The genomic RNA has two large open reading frames (ORFs; ORF1a and ORF1b) at the 5' end that occupy two-thirds of the entire genome. ORF1 encodes 16 nonstructural functional proteins that are primarily involved in viral RNA synthesis. The remaining third of the genome is made up of ORFs that encode structural proteins such as spike (S), matrix (M), nucleocapsid (N), and envelope (E), as well as several non-structural accessory proteins 3a, 3b, 3c, 7a, and 7b.

FCoV genome and structure.Fig.1 FCoV genome and structure. (Kipar & Meli, 2014)

FCoV I and II

FCoVs are classified into two groups or serotypes based on differences in the FCoV S protein amino acid sequence and antibody neutralization: type I is entirely feline; type II is the result of recombination events between type I FCoV, which is essentially feline, and canine coronavirus. FIP and clinically inapparent FCoV infections can be caused by both FCoV-I and II. Type I bacteria cause 80% to 90% of naturally occurring infections. FCoV-I isolates are difficult to culture, whereas FCoV-II viruses can grow in a variety of cell lines.

Hypothesis of the emergence of FCoV-II.Fig.2 Hypothesis of the emergence of FCoV-II. (Terada, et al., 2014)

Creative Biolabs is dedicated to providing scientific researchers with effective solutions and high-quality services to aid in their virus research. Our scientists work to understand viruses and aid in the development of antibodies that are necessary to begin your veterinary disease research. Please contact us for more information, a quote, or to set up a teleconference.

To begin your research, browse our entire catalog of FCoV antibodies.


  1. Kipar, A.; Meli, M.L. Feline Infectious Peritonitis: Still an Enigma? Veterinary Pathology. 2014, 51(2): 505-526.
  2. Terada, Y.; et al. Emergence of pathogenic coronaviruses in cats by homologous recombination between feline and canine coronaviruses. PLoS ONE. 2014 9(9): e106534.
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