Cytauxzoon felis is a pathogen responsible for cytauxzoonosis, a highly fatal disease in domestic cats. Although most studies of C. felis have focused on this parasite in domestic cats, bobcats are the reservoir host. In stark contrast, there is little information relative to the progression of C. felis infections in bobcats. We studied bobcats in southern Illinois during 2014–2017 to evaluate which environmental factors (i.e., ambient temperature; number of daylight hours; trapping year, month, and day) influenced C. felis parasitemia levels. Mean ambient temperature at 1 wk and 2 wk prior to sampling was associated with increased parasitemia levels. Vector activity intensifies with higher temperatures, suggesting that increased parasitemia levels are an adaptation to facilitate transmission.
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Vol. 106 • No. 2