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W15-011: Diagnosis and treatment of feline Tritrichomonas foetus through target surface antigens

Tritrichomonas foetus (Tf) is a protozoal parasite that is a prevalent cause of chronic diarrhea in domestic cats globally. No rapid, bedside assays are available to diagnose this infection. Moreover, only one drug is available to treat feline Tf and this drug is associated with increasing treatment failure and unacceptable side effects. As feline Tf closely resembles other intestinal infections of cats, it can be challenging for veterinarians to rapidly diagnose and treat Tf infection. This research group has previously demonstrated that cat and cattle Tf share common strategies for infecting their hosts. Two surface markers (1.15, 1.17) on bovine Tf participate in establishment of infection and induction of clinical signs. Thus, the aims of this study are to evaluate the expression of 1.15 and 1.17 in feline Tf and to determine if these markers play a role in injury of the intestine. A vaccine against 1.17 is commercially available against bovine Tf. The ultimate result of this study could lead to the development of a novel therapy and/or diagnostic strategy for cats infected with feline Tf.

Grant ID: W15-011

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2015

Amount awarded: $16,000

Investigator: M. Katherine Tolbert, DVM PhD, DACVIM, Emily N. Gould DVM; The University of Tennessee