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FERRET systemic coronavirus (FRSCV)-associated disease is an emerging fatal disease of ferrets, with confirmed cases in Spain and the USA dating back to 2002 (Garner and others 2008). The clinicopathological characteristics of FRSCV-associated disease are remarkably similar to feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a fatal systemic disease of cats caused by a virulent variant of feline coronavirus. FRSCV is closely related to ferret enteric coronavirus (FRECV), the cause of epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE) (Wise and others 2010). It is unclear whether FRSCV and FRECV are distinct viruses or whether FRSCV arises de novo by mutation of FRECV in vivo. An outbreak of ECE in Yorkshire in 2010 confirmed the presence of FRECV in the UK (Thomas and others 2012).
In recent months, we have confirmed four cases of systemic FRSCV-associated disease in ferrets aged between …
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