Patricia Pesavento- DVM, PhD
5323 Vet Med 3A
+1 530 752 1166
The Pesavento laboratory is interested in diseases affecting intensively housed animals, and in particular we study shelter associated feline and canine diseases. The compounded vulnerability of shelter animals to disease includes host compromise (eg stress, nutrition), but also dense populations of animals provide a unique environment with a high prevalence of pathogens and intense variability in pathogen virulence. Our laboratory studies feline calicivirus as a model for pathogenesis of viral disease, virulence, and viral persistence. Caliciviruses infect most mammalian species, however feline calicivirus only causes disease in cats. Infection can result in acute disease, or cats can, either from initial infection or by chronic progression of the acute phase of disease, be asymptomatic and shed virus. We are focusing on the variability in viral virulence using a foundation of multiple natural isolates of FCV. Feline calicivirus has joined an ever growing cadre of pathogens that use cell-cell attachment proteins as receptors for cell attachment and entry. Junctional adhesion molecule-A is a receptor for feline calicivirus. We have postulated that viral-host interaction could disrupt cell-cell attachment, and that this could be the mechanism for causing disease.
A second laboratory focus, in collaboration with multiple pathologists and clinicians, is on viral discovery. Pathologists in particularly are poised to recognize whether tissue reaction to disease is unique, and this has led to date, via either metagenomics (in collaboration with Dr. Eric Delwart, UCSF) or traditional PCR methods to the characterization of 2 novel viruses (Kobu, Sappo) that were found in samples from an outbreak of canine diarrhea, an amdovirus (parvo-like) in a fox with systemic inflammation, and most recently a novel polyomavirus in the raccoon.
1994 PhD Cell and Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology,
Diplomate American College of Veterinary Pathologists
Active Research Grants
Principal Investigator, Center for Companion Animal Health Faculty Grant, (Principal Investigator), Center for Companion Animal Health, UC Davis
Principal Investigator, ACVP/STP Coalition for Vet path Fellows, (Principal Investigator), American College of Vet Pathologist / Society of Toxicologic Pathology
Principal Investigator, Faculty Research Grant, (Principal Investigator), Center for Companion Animal Medicine
Most Recent 10 Publications
Most Recent 5 Book Chapters
2009 Pesavento P: Necropsy At The Animal Shelter; Necropsy Techniques, Lila Miller, Kate F. Hurley, (ed), Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters, Ames, Iowa. 107-121.