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Identification and characterization of trypanosomatids that infect domestic cats (felis catus) from an endemic area for visceral leishmaniasis

Grant number: 17/14855-9
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2017
Effective date (End): October 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Collective Health - Epidemiology
Principal researcher:Trícia Maria Ferreira de Sousa Oliveira
Grantee:Maria Luana Alves
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


Trypanosomatids are protozoans flagellated with an organelle known as kinetoplast, which corresponds to a condensation of DNA located inside a single branched mitochondria throughout the body of the protozoan. The protozoa of this group are the subject of study in humans, domestic and wild animals, due to their epidemiological character in relation to leishmaniasis and Chagas' disease. The domestic cat also acts as a reservoir for these protozoans, even though it does not present any clinical changes. Due to the lack of specificity of the clinical findings and absence of signs in cats, who can be confused with other diseases, the objective of this study is to identify and characterize the main protozoa of the Trypanosomatidae family that naturally parasite domestic cats from endemic areas for visceral leishmaniasis. We will evaluate 100 cats from shelters of domestic animals of Ilha Solteira, SP, in which biological samples will be collected for the study of trypanosomatids. Serological, molecular, intradermal and parasitological examinations will be carried out to verify if the animals are infected, after which the genetic material obtained in the positive samples will be sequenced. In addition, the phlebotomine vectors will be collected to investigate their feeding habits and if they are infected by protozoa. The results obtained in infected and uninfected animals will be compared and the differences evaluated by statistical tests. (AU)

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