So Long, and Thanks for All the Worms

We now must say goodbye and congratulations to our friend/colleague, Dr. Caroline Sobotyk de Oliveira. Although we are saddened that her post-doctoral term has ended here in the Verocai Lab, we cannot express how proud we are of her accomplishments and her future endeavors she will embark upon. Dr. Sobotyk completed her DVM in 2013 at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM) in Brazil. She then earned both an MSc (2015) and PhD (2019) specializing in vector-borne infections, including spotted fever Rickettsia and Leishmania. After these enormous accomplishments, she made a huge leap to continue her education in a new country! Under the supervision of Dr. Guilherme Verocai, she came to Texas A&M University to complete a Merck-funded NCVP residency training in just two years. Dr. Sobotyk’s list of accomplishments in the Verocai Lab is long and wide-ranging (an exhaustive publication list is detailed below for reference). Most recently she was the recipient of the TAMU VMBS Outstanding Postdoctoral Associate Award. In addition to all her published accomplishments, Dr. Sobotyk brought enthusiastic, positive energy to all things parasitology-related in the lab and persevered during one of the more stranger times in human history (looking at you Covid). Maté tea (chimarrão) in hand (and sometimes brigadeiro, a lab favorite!), it’s hard to imagine her not racing through the lab with a cheerful grin and enviable amounts of scientific curiosity (only matched when something like the printer breaks down). Now she starts a new adventure as a Assistant Professor of Clinical Parasitology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. She will be greatly missed, but we are so proud of all she has done here in the Verocai Lab and look forward to her bright parasitology future!

With that said, we all wish you the best of luck at UPenn!!!! (Go Quakers?)

Publications in the Verocai Lab

  • Danks HA, Sobotyk C, N Saleh M, Kulpa M, L Luksovsky J, C Jones L, Verocai GG. Opening a can of lungworms: Molecular characterization of Dictyocaulus (Nematoda: Dictyocaulidae) infecting North American bison (Bison bison). Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2022 Apr 30;18:128-134. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2022.04.011. PMID: 35572037; PMCID: PMC9096256.
  • Sobotyk C, Nguyen N, Negrón V, Varner A, Saleh MN, Hilton C, Tomeček JM, Esteve-Gasent MD, Verocai GG. Detection of Dirofilaria immitis via integrated serological and molecular analyses in coyotes from Texas, United States. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2022 Apr 2;18:20-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2022.03.012. PMID: 35399590; PMCID: PMC8987650.
  • Wallitsch K, Jaffey JA, Ferguson S, Verocai GG, Sobotyk C, van Eerde E, Bashaw S. Extensive Aberrant Migration of Onchocerca lupi in a Dog. Top Companion Anim Med. 2022 Jul-Aug;49:100666. doi: 10.1016/j.tcam.2022.100666. Epub 2022 Apr 10. PMID: 35417784.
  • Upton KE, Sobotyk C, Edwards EE, Verocai GG. Dirofilaria immitis in an Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) from southeastern Louisiana, United States. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2022 Apr;29:100703. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2022.100703. Epub 2022 Feb 10. PMID: 35256129.
  • Zárate-Rendón DA, Salazar-Espinoza MN, Catalano S, Sobotyk C, Mendoza AP, Rosenbaum M, Verocai G. Molecular characterization of Dipetalonema yatesi from the black-faced spider monkey (Ateles chamek) with phylogenetic inference of relationships among Dipetalonema of Neotropical primates. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2022 Jan 13;17:152-157. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2022.01.005. PMID: 35096523; PMCID: PMC8783072.
  • Hasse KE, Garner MM, Knightly FA, Sobotyk C, Luksovsky JL, Verocai GG. FATAL FASCIOLOIDES MAGNA IN A LESSER SPOT-NOSED GUENON (CERCOPITHECUS PETAURISTA). J Zoo Wildl Med. 2021 Dec;52(4):1309-1313. doi: 10.1638/2020-0226. PMID: 34998304.
  • Park JY, Sobotyk C, Edwards EE, Porter BF, Verocai GG. Fatal cerebral cuterebrosis in a dog. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2021 Dec;26:100636. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2021.100636. Epub 2021 Sep 11. PMID: 34879948.
  • Febronio AMB, Boos GS, Batista RLG, Amorim DB, Guimarães JP, Bianchi MV, Mariani DB, Koproski L, Mari C, Parente JEV, Sonne L, Werneck MR, Marques SMT, Driemeier D, Kolesnikovas CKM, Groch KR, Sobotyk C, Verocai GG, Groch KR, Díaz-Delgado J. Crassicaudiasis in three geographically and chronologically distant Cuvier’s beaked whales (Ziphius cavirostris) stranded off Brazil. Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2021 Nov 6;16:262-269. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2021.10.010. PMID: 34824971; PMCID: PMC8605309.
  • Díaz-Delgado J, Cruz D, Sobotyk C, Hensley T, Anguiano M, Verocai GG, Gomez G. Pathologic features and molecular identification of parelaphostrongylosis in a sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii). J Vet Med Sci. 2021 Sep 27;83(9):1476-1480. doi: 10.1292/jvms.21-0282. Epub 2021 Jul 31. PMID: 34334513; PMCID: PMC8498824.
  • Sobotyk C, Upton KE, Lejeune M, Nolan TJ, Marsh AE, Herrin BH, Borst MM, Piccione J, Zajac AM, Camp LE, Pulaski CN, Starkey LA, von Simson C, Verocai GG. Retrospective study of canine endoparasites diagnosed by fecal flotation methods analyzed across veterinary parasitology diagnostic laboratories, United States, 2018. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Aug 31;14(1):439. doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-04960-7. PMID: 34465379; PMCID: PMC8406898.
  • Verocai GG, Sobotyk C, Lamison A, Borst MM, Edwards EE. Autochthonous, zoonotic Onchocerca lupi in a South Texas dog, United States. Parasit Vectors. 2021 Apr 15;14(1):203. doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-04707-4. PMID: 33858497; PMCID: PMC8048269.
  • Sobotyk C, Foster T, Callahan RT, McLean NJ, Verocai GG. Zoonotic Thelazia californiensis in dogs from New Mexico, USA, and a review of North American cases in animals and humans. Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2021 Apr;24:100553. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2021.100553. Epub 2021 Mar 13. PMID: 34024370.
  • Sobotyk C, Savadelis MD, Verocai GG. Detection and cross-reaction of Dirofilaria repens using a commercial heartworm antigen test kit. Vet Parasitol. 2021 Jan;289:109302. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2020.109302. Epub 2020 Dec 10. PMID: 33352522.
  • Sobotyk de Oliveira C, Savadelis MD, McLean NJ,Verocai GG. Assessing the potential cross-reactivity using a commercial heartworm ELISA kits of serum from dogs naturally infected with Onchocerca lupi. Veterinary Parasitology 280 (2020): 109070.

AAVP Meeting 2022

This June we were able to travel to the 67th annual American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists in lovely Snowbird, Utah! This once in a lifetime trip exposed us to new exciting parasitology work, new colleagues/friends, and not to mention – mountains! This year’s AAVP conference was ultimately a special one for the Verocai lab. Overall, the lab presented five(!) oral lectures and two poster talks. This was, by far, the largest presence Verocai lab has had at AAVP and we look forward to meeting this goal every year. Lab contributors at this year’s conference included:

  • Caroline de Sobotyk (post-doc) – Characterizing circulating Onchocerca lupi-derived microRNA in naturally infected dogs and assessing their potential as diagnostic markers
  • Matthew Kulpa (PhD student) – A cryptic Onchocerca species in moose from southern Alaska
  • Kaylee Kipp (PhD student) – Retrospective evaluation of gastrointestinal nematodes in commercial North American bison herds: 2017-2021 at the Texas A&M University Parasitology Diagnostic Lab
  • Maureen Kelly (PhD student) – Preliminary validation of a probe-based qPCR for detection of zoonotic Onchocerca lupi in clinical samples of companion animals
  • Hannah Danks (veterinary student) – Molecular characterization of Dictyocaulus (Nematoda; Dictyocaulidae) infecting North American bison (bison bison)
  • Tiana Sanders (former veterinary extern from Oklahoma State University) – Natural infection of Trichinella sp. in a domestic cat from Oklahoma
  • Ilana Mosley (Rotating PhD student) – Dirofilaria immitis prevalence in shelter cats in south Texas

In addition, congrats to Tiana Sanders on her 2nd place finish in the poster contest and Carol de Sobotyk for her last presentation as part of the Verocai Lab!! We are very proud of both you and the entire lab for making our group what it is today!