MT12-011: Utilization of an in vitro luciferase assay to determine efficacy of novel 5-nitroimidazole derivatives and proton pump inhibitors against ronidazole-resistant and susceptible feline Tritrichomonas foetus isolates

Tritrichomonas foetus is an important and common parasitic infection that primarily affects purebred cats living in catteries and shelters worldwide. The objectives of this study are to develop a more rapid, sensitive screening method for assessing the efficacy of novel drugs that have been shown to kill a variety of protozoa in other studies, but have not been tested against T. foetus from cats to date. The parasite can cause severe inflammation of the colon and subsequent diarrhea, resulting in discomfort for the infected cat and frustration for the owner. Eradication of the infection is equally challenging for veterinarians and breeders alike, as 57% of cats diagnosed with T. foetus-associated diarrhea persist in shedding the organism for up to 5 years following treatment. A variety of drugs have been utilized to eradicate T. foetus infection with limited success. More recent therapeutic approaches have involved the use of ronidazole, an antibiotic with similar properties to metronidazole; however, clinical resistance to metronidazole, low efficacy of tinidazole (a drug that is related to metronidazole), and documentation of resistance to ronidazole in some cats are consistent with a high level of cross resistance of feline T. foetus to conventional antibiotics.

Grant ID: MT12-011

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2012

Amount awarded: $23,800

Investigator: Stanley L. Marks, BVSc, PhD, Dip ACVIM, Dip ACVN, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis