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Seroprevalence of vector-borne pathogens and molecular detection of Borrelia afzelii in military dogs from Portugal


Alho, Ana Margarida; Pita, Joana; Amaro, Ana; Amaro, Fátima; Schnyder, Manuela; Grimm, Felix; Custódio, Ana Cristina; Cardoso, Luís; Deplazes, Peter; de Carvalho, Luís Madeira (2016). Seroprevalence of vector-borne pathogens and molecular detection of Borrelia afzelii in military dogs from Portugal. Parasites & Vectors, 9:225.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) are increasingly being reported worldwide and represent a serious threat to both animal and public health. Military dogs may constitute a risk group for the agents causing these diseases, as they frequently work outdoors in different areas and are thus exposed to vector arthropods. In order to assess the risk of exposure of this type of dogs, a serological and molecular survey was conducted in military working dogs in Portugal. One hundred apparently healthy dogs were surveyed. Serum samples were tested for antigens of Angiostrongylus vasorum and Dirofilaria immitis; and for antibodies to A. vasorum, Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp., Ehrlichia canis, Leishmania infantum, Rickettsia spp. and Toscana virus. Serum was tested by polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), with sequencing of the DNA products.
RESULTS: Forty-nine per cent of the dogs were seropositive for antibodies against Rickettsia spp., 16 % for Anaplasma spp., 13 % for L. infantum, 7 % for E. canis, 5 % for A. vasorum (including 1 % positive for both antibodies and circulating antigens), 3 % for Babesia spp. and 1 % positive for Toscana virus. B. burgdorferi (s.l.) was detected in eight out of 94 dogs tested (8.5 %) and in three cases (3.2 %) nucleotide sequence analysis showed identity with the genospecies Borrelia afzelii. No positive cases were recorded for D. immitis. Overall, 66 % of the dogs were positive for at least one out of the eight tested CVBD agents, six of which are zoonotic (i.e. Anaplasma spp., Borrelia spp., E. canis, L. infantum, Rickettsia spp. and Toscana virus). Serological specific antibody detection against more than one CVBD agent (including molecular detection of Borrelia spp.) was recorded in 25 % of the dogs, comprising 19 % with positive reaction to two agents, 5 % to three agents and 1 % to four agents.
CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal a high occurrence of CVBD agents in military working dogs in Portugal and highlight the need to maintain a comprehensive and regular prophylaxis to reduce the contact between working dogs and those pathogens. For the first time in Portugal, B. afzelii DNA was identified in dogs and a dog was found seropositive for antibodies against Toscana virus.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBDs) are increasingly being reported worldwide and represent a serious threat to both animal and public health. Military dogs may constitute a risk group for the agents causing these diseases, as they frequently work outdoors in different areas and are thus exposed to vector arthropods. In order to assess the risk of exposure of this type of dogs, a serological and molecular survey was conducted in military working dogs in Portugal. One hundred apparently healthy dogs were surveyed. Serum samples were tested for antigens of Angiostrongylus vasorum and Dirofilaria immitis; and for antibodies to A. vasorum, Anaplasma spp., Babesia spp., Ehrlichia canis, Leishmania infantum, Rickettsia spp. and Toscana virus. Serum was tested by polymerase chain reaction for Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), with sequencing of the DNA products.
RESULTS: Forty-nine per cent of the dogs were seropositive for antibodies against Rickettsia spp., 16 % for Anaplasma spp., 13 % for L. infantum, 7 % for E. canis, 5 % for A. vasorum (including 1 % positive for both antibodies and circulating antigens), 3 % for Babesia spp. and 1 % positive for Toscana virus. B. burgdorferi (s.l.) was detected in eight out of 94 dogs tested (8.5 %) and in three cases (3.2 %) nucleotide sequence analysis showed identity with the genospecies Borrelia afzelii. No positive cases were recorded for D. immitis. Overall, 66 % of the dogs were positive for at least one out of the eight tested CVBD agents, six of which are zoonotic (i.e. Anaplasma spp., Borrelia spp., E. canis, L. infantum, Rickettsia spp. and Toscana virus). Serological specific antibody detection against more than one CVBD agent (including molecular detection of Borrelia spp.) was recorded in 25 % of the dogs, comprising 19 % with positive reaction to two agents, 5 % to three agents and 1 % to four agents.
CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal a high occurrence of CVBD agents in military working dogs in Portugal and highlight the need to maintain a comprehensive and regular prophylaxis to reduce the contact between working dogs and those pathogens. For the first time in Portugal, B. afzelii DNA was identified in dogs and a dog was found seropositive for antibodies against Toscana virus.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Parasitology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Parasitology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
600 Technology
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:05 Aug 2016 09:31
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 06:52
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1756-3305
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1509-2
PubMed ID:27160284

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