There are three study groups for study samples:  Group 1 is for cats affected by FIP; Group 2 is for cats closely related to cats who have been affected by FIP; Group 3 is for cats who come from lines that have no history of FIP.


Group 1 – FIP is indeed difficult to diagnose, currently there is no definitive test though usually confirmation can occur through necropsy.  But if the owner’s veterinarian feels FIP is likely and no necropsy was done, or if there are obvious signs such as the distinctive straw colored fluid that accumulates in the belly in wet FIP, then DNA samples should go in Group 1.  If there is uncertainty, you can still put the samples in group 1 but please be sure to send along with them notes or comments about what made the owner or vet believe it is FIP.  Also, copies of any test results (cbc, pcr, etc.) that can accompany group one samples are very much welcome, as is any history of the progression of the disease that the owner would care to provide. 

Group 2 – in this group researchers are most interested in cats that are closely related to those lost to FIP, within 3 generations.  Those would include parents, littermates or half siblings, offspring, even aunts, uncles and grandparents.  Again, if there is an uncertain diagnosis of the related FIP affected cats, please provide notes to that effect to accompany the samples.  

Group 3 – there should be NO HISTORY OF FIP FOR AT LEAST THREE GENERATIONS behind these cats.  Researchers want to encourage breeders to talk to each other about occurrences of the disease in breeding lines.  If that is not possible, and in many cases it won’t be, please provide notes that indicate that to the best of the breeders’ knowledge there has been no FIP in those lines for at least three generations.

In summary, it’s always better for the researchers to have samples even with caveats — once the markers are found, then any samples with questions can be tested to determine which category they fall in.  We need as many samples as possible to make this a comprehensive and successful study.  BUT IT IS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO BE AS HONEST AND ACCURATE AS POSSIBLE when deciding which group the samples should go in.  Iif there is a question or uncertainty do the best you can and please add accompanying notes.


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