Feline cytauxzoonosis is a infection that affect wild and domestic felines and are caused by piroplasmids of the genera Cytauxzoon spp. Although studies have been carried out in several regions of the world, little is known about the occurrence, genetic diversity, life cycle and vectors of piroplasmids in domestic cats in Brazil. This is mainly due to the occurrence of nonspecific clinical manifestations in domestic cats affected by cytauxzoonosis. Furthermore, studies on feline cytauxzoonosis are scarce, being a disease easily confused with babesiosis and theileriosis. The present study aims to investigate the presence and characterization of Cytauxzoon spp. DNA in blood samples from domesticated cats sampled in the cities of Araguari and Uberlândia, in the state of Minas Gerais, and Jaboticabal, in the state of São Paulo. Between August and September 2018, blood samples were collected from 306 domestic cats (88 in Uberlândia, 67 in Araguari and 151 in Jaboticabal). The blood samples will be submitted to DNA extraction and screening for Cytauxzoon spp. by conventional PCR assays based on the 18S rRNA. The positive samples will be submitted to additional conventional PCR assays based on the intergenic regions ITS-1 and ITS-2, purified and sequenced by the Sanger method. The obtained sequences will be submitted to phylogenetic inferences in order to position them within an evolutionary relationship with species of piroplasmids detected in Brazil and other parts of the world. The present work will contribute to the understanding of the genetic diversity and epidemiology of Cytauxzoon spp. circulating in felines in Brazil.
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