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Endocytic Pathway of Feline Coronavirus for Cell Entry: Differences in Serotype-Dependent Viral Entry Pathway

Feline coronavirus (FCoV) is a pathogen causing a lethal infectious disease in cats, feline infectious peritonitis. It has two serotypes (type I FCoV and type II FCoV). According to our previous study, type I FCoV infection is inhibited by compounds inducing intracellular cholesterol accumulation, whereas type II FCoV infection is not inhibited. Intracellular cholesterol accumulation was reported to disrupt late endosome function. Based on these findings, types I and II FCoV are considered to enter the cytosol through late and early endosomes, respectively. We investigated whether the antiviral activities of a late endosome trafficking inhibitor and cholesterol-accumulating agents are different between the FCoV serotypes. The late endosome trafficking inhibitor did not inhibit type II FCoV infection, but it inhibited type I FCoV infection. Type I FCoV infection was inhibited by cholesterol-accumulating triazoles, but not by non-cholesterol-accumulating triazoles. These phenomena were observed in both feline cell lines and feline primary macrophages. This study provides additional information on the differences in intracellular reproductive cycle between type I and type II FCoV.

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