Researcher ORCID Identifier


Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Bethany Caulkins

Reader 2

Erin Jones

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2023 Carissa V Napier


Feline coronavirus (FCoV) infection is ubiquitous in domestic cats, and up to 12% of FCoV-infected cats may succumb to Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP). FIP is a highly lethal infectious disease caused by FIP virus (FIPV), the virulent biotype of FCoV. It is difficult to properly diagnose FIP, and to this date, there is no effective FCoV vaccine nor licensed therapeutic for FIPV. Considering the threat FIP poses to feline health, there is a demand from both owners and veterinarians for a proper therapeutic to effectively treat the infection. 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) is a highly bioavailable amino acid that is naturally synthesized in animal cells and has shown significant antiviral activity against coronaviruses SARS-CoV-2 and FIPV. The inhibition of FIPV infection is most likely due to the intracellular accumulation of a downstream metabolite called protoporphyrin IX (PPIX) from 5-ALA supplementation, which can bind to G-quadruplex (G4) structures in the viral genome and therefore inhibit viral translation and replication processes. This propositional study is designed to investigate the potential stabilization of G4s in FIPV by PPIX and its subsequent inhibition of the viral life cycle both in vitro and in feline cells.