Cytauxzoon felis is an emerging tick-borne parasite that causes the emerging infectious disease cytauxzoonosis, affecting pet cats. The parasite is found mainly in the southern United States but is slowly moving north as infected ticks spread. No vaccine currently exists for cytauxzoonosis, making strict tick control the only available measure to prevent this deadly infection. In this pilot study, researchers hope to create a novel culture system for C. felis by using ticks and tick-derived cell lines to better study the disease. If successful, this new tool will serve as a platform to inform development of better diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for this important emerging disease in cats.
Grant amount awarded
North Carolina State University
Adam Birkenheuer, DVM, DACVIM, PhD