Dr Mark Westman
Mark Westman | Postgraduate Student
Faculty of Veterinary Science
BVSc (Hons) MANZCVSc (Animal Welfare) CMAVA
Feline retroviruses and gastrointestinal parasites, particularly in relationship to Australian shelter cats
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is commonly found in Australian cats, and a vaccine has been used in Australia since 2004. However no field data exists as to the efficacy of this vaccine under natural conditions. My project aims to investigate many facets of FIV infection in Australia, including up to date prevalence rates, disease association, comparison of common diagnostic methods, and most importantly the protective rate of the FIV vaccine. Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) can have a devastating outcome for infected cats, and up until now no treatment options have existed for FeLV. As part of my project, I will be trialling a human drug used in the treatment of HIV infection to treat FeLV infected cats. Finally, I will also be investigating the prevalence of Tritrichomonas foetus and Giardia duodenalis in Australian cats, with a particular interest in the zoonotic potential of feline giardiasis in Australia.
Contribution to the Profession and the community
Member of the AVA, ASAVA and CVE.
Director of Pets in the Park, a charity dedicated to helping Sydney’s homeless and less fortunate by caring for their pets. Check out Pets in the Park