2023 journal article
A Novel Vaccine Strategy to Prevent Cytauxzoonosis in Domestic Cats
Cytauxzoonosis is caused by Cytauxzoon felis (C. felis), a tick-borne parasite that causes severe disease in domestic cats in the United States. Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent this fatal disease, as traditional vaccine development strategies have been limited by the inability to culture this parasite in vitro. Here, we used a replication-defective human adenoviral vector (AdHu5) to deliver C. felis-specific immunogenic antigens and induce a cell-mediated and humoral immune response in cats. Cats (n = 6 per group) received either the vaccine or placebo in two doses, 4 weeks apart, followed by experimental challenge with C. felis at 5 weeks post-second dose. While the vaccine induced significant cell-mediated and humoral immune responses in immunized cats, it did not ultimately prevent infection with C. felis. However, immunization significantly delayed the onset of clinical signs and reduced febrility during C. felis infection. This AdHu5 vaccine platform shows promising results as a vaccination strategy against cytauxzoonosis.