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Using Genomic Technologies to Discover Causes of Feline Disease

With many feline infectious diseases, it is difficult to identify the specific pathogen involved. In a previous pilot study funded by Morris Animal Foundation, the research team developed a genetic assay that detected and characterized multiple feline pathogens. In this study they will evaluate the test’s application as a diagnostic method by using it to identify the pathogens associated with three common feline diseases: lymphoma, leukemia and chronic anemia. Modern genomic technologies such as this type of test have revolutionized human medicine but are still underused tools in veterinary medicine. The researcher’s goal is to discover new causes of feline disease, which could lead to better diagnostic tests, therapies or vaccines for conditions that are currently incurable.

Dr. Sue VandeWoude, Colorado State University