American Heartworm Society’s Triennial Symposium

Multiple current and former members of the Verocai Lab showed out at the American Heartworm Society’s Triennial Symposium this year! This included:

  • Dr. Guilherme Verocai
    • Temporal patterns of Dirofilaria  immitis–derived microRNA populations in serum of experimentally infected dogs in the search for novel diagnostic biomarkers
    • Probe-based qPCR as an alternative Knott’s test when screening dogs for heartworm infection in combination with antigen detection tests 
  • Dr. Caroline Sobotyk (recent resident and postdoc with Dr. Verocai; now clinical assistant professor at UPenn)
    • Detection of Dirofilaria immitis via integrated serological and molecular analyses in coyotes from Texas, USA (oral)
    • Assessing the field performance of a cell-phone based video-microscope for diagnosing heartworm infections in dogs (poster)
  • Dr. Kaitlyn Upton (veterinary student researcher with Dr. Verocai; now large animal intern at University of Tennessee)
    • Heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis, in carnivores kept in zoos located in Texas, USA: Risk perception, practices, and prevalence 
  • Dr. Meriam Saleh
    • Evaluation of urine for Dirofilaria immitis antigen detection in dogs
  • Dr. Sarah Lane (veterinary student researcher with Dr. Verocai; now veterinarian at Oak Forest Animal Hospital in Houston, TX)

You can read more about the event in the VMBS News article that was just recently published. Congratulations everyone!

A ‘cheesy’ post from our Wisconsin visitor!

Hello, my name is Kailey Wichman and I am currently a vet student at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. I first received my Bachelor of Dairy Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and, as you can guess, my hope is to go into farm animal medicine. I also have a strong interest in parasitology focusing in farm animal diagnostic and treatment. Therefore, I chose to visit and spend time in the Verocai Lab where they routinely perform cattle parasite diagnostics along with a variety of other domestic and wild animals. My time with the Verocai lab was amazing! 10/10 would recommend! Everyone was friendly and helpful right away. I was taught how to perform diagnostic techniques from the moment I walked in and not only could I ask any question that I had, but they would also ask questions back which helped solidify my learning. Not only have I gained the ability and knowledge to perform parasitology diagnostics but I am confident in my ability to identify specific parasites for an appropriate treatment plan. A huge Texas thank you goes out to everyone at the Verocai Lab for making it such an amazing experience!! 

Congrats Vet Students!

As summer now officially comes to an end, we need to congratulate our veterinary students for completing the Veterinary Medical Scientist Research Training Program (VMSRTP). All three made the Verocai lab proud and we our so grateful they came to our lab to pursue and experience parasitology research. The amazing projects and students included:

Jordan Gomez – Validation of a species-specific probe-based qPCR for detection of Setaria yehi in Alaskan moose (Alces alces)
Sasha Adams – Don’t lose your head: Probe-based real-time PCR for detection of Onchocerca lupi in black flies
Cora Garcia – Direct threat assessment of African Swine Fever virus competent ticks, Ornithodoros spp. in Texas

We want to especially congratulate Cora Garcia for winning the ‘Outstanding Clinical/Translational Presentation Award’ for her talk on Ticks and African Swine Fever. Great work Cora and awesome job to all three of you!


Don’t forget if you area veterinary student and interested in veterinary parasitology, check out the VMSRTP website and make sure to contact us!