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Georgia Journal of Science

Article Title

VECTOR-HOST INCIDENCE COMPARISON BETWEEN ITS1-ITS2 GENOTYPES OF CYTAUXZOON FELIS IN SOUTH GEORGIA **

Abstract

Cytauxzoonosis is an infectious disease of felids caused by the protozoan parasite Cytauxzoon felis. Cytauxzoon belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa, order Piroplasmida, and family Theileriidae. Members of this family are tick-transmitted protozoans that exist in erythrocytic and leukocytic stages in their intended hosts. Historically the disease has been thought to be fatal to domestic cats, but recent cases of host survival have been documented. Studies on the genetic variation of the first and second internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS1 and ITS2) of the rRNA genes have identified five genotypes (ITSA, ITSB, ITSC, ITSG, ITSI) associated with varying cytauxzoonosis severity in the bobcat and domestic cat. In this study we will be looking at the incidence of these five genotypes in the ITS1 and ITS2 regions in three hosts of the C. felis lifecycle located in southern Georgia. PCR and gel electrophoresis will be used to test for the five genotypes of DNA samples from Lynx rufus (bobcat), Felis catus (domestic cat), and the parasite vector Amblyomma americanum (Lonestar tick).

Acknowledgements

Dr. Mark S. Blackmore, Dr. Jack M. Lockhart

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