2014 Symposium Overview
March 23, 2014 (published)
Winn Feline Foundation
Winn Feline Health Symposium | 36th Annual Symposium on Feline Health

"HCM and FIP: Glimmers of Hope"
June 26, 2014; 4:00 - 6:30 PM
Sheraton New Orleans
New Orleans, LA

Phillip R. Fox, DVM, MS, DACVIM/ECVIM (Cardiology), DACVECC
Vincent Astor Chair in Comparative Medicine, Caspary Institutue, The Animal Medical Center

"NEW perspectives on survival: Comparison of healthy cats and cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - A Global Study"
This international collaborative study has identified risk factors for heart failure and survival in normal healthy cats and cats with HCM and discusses the impact on feline health of heart disease, renal failure, and cancer. This multinational study involved some 60 investigators across 20 countries. The presentation will review the current relevant knowledge of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with special focus on clinically relevant findings. In addition, for the first time, new data will clarify incidence of morbidities and mortality in cats with HCM including CHF and ATE, as well as in normal cats. Clinical risk factors for heart disease and cardiac death will also be included.

Beth Licitra, Current Combined DVM/PhD Student, Field of Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Cornell University Laboratory of Gary Whittaker

"Pathogenesis of feline coronavirus is linked to mutation of a critical viral activation site"
Research in the Whittaker Laboratory focuses on investigations into the initial steps of virus infection.This includes binding of the virus to its host receptor, activation of viral attachment proteins by host proteases, and fusion of viral and host cell membranes. We work on human and avian influenza viruses as well as coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).This talk will summarize our findings on the correlation between mutations in the FCoV spike protein and the development of FIP. It will also highlight our current work on the role of host cell proteases in the progression of this fatal disease. Our research has uncovered a molecular basis for FIP that has potential to lead to developments in diagnostics, prevention, and treatment.