An article has been published recently in the June 2023 edition of the Veterinary Record  journal, which notified colleagues worldwide of an alarming outbreak of Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in Cyprus. Local veterinarians have been reporting an alarming increase in FIP cases which started in the capital city of Nicosia in January and spread throughout the whole island within 3-4 months. The cases reported by the local veterinarians concerned both stray cat populations and indoor cats. The number of FIP PCR-confirmed cases in samples from cavity fluids, abdominal lymph nodes, or tissue biopsies from feline patients with a FIP compatible clinical appearance has increased more than 20 times compared to the previous year (2022), as the article states.
The article suggests that to avoid the potential spread of the feline coronavirus (FCoV)-strain outside Cyprus, all cats must be tested serologically negative for FCoV prior to traveling. A working theory on the cause of this outbreak mentioned in the article refers to a new virulent FCoV strain that mechanical vectors can transmit. This theory must be further studied, proven, and confirmed.
To our knowledge, this is the first report in the veterinary literature of a FIP outbreak of this extent. Previous reports of FIP outbreaks (in the UK, USA, Taiwan, Greece, e.t.c.) were restricted to catteries.
(D.V.M, Mas.Vet.Sc. in S.A.S)
Vice-President of the Pancyprian Veterinary Association (PVA)
Board member of the Cyprus Veterinary Council (CVC)
Representative of PVA in the Federation of the European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA)
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