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Prevalence of antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum and their clinical relevance in dogs in Munich, Germany.

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Abstract

Although prevalences of antibodies against Borrelia (B.) burgdorferi sensu lato (sl) and Anaplasma (A.) phagocytophilum have been reported to be high in the German dog population, the importance of the diseases caused by both agents is still not well characterized in a field situation.The aim of this study was (1) to determine the prevalence of antibodies to B. burgdorferi sl and A. phagocytophilum in dogs in Munich, Germany, and (2) to assess the clinical presentation and laboratory values of antibody-positive dogs and compare them to a negative control group. In total, 448 randomly selected dogs were screened for antibodies to B. burgdorferi sl and A. phagocytophilum with the SNAP 4Dx assay (IDEXX, Laboratories, Inc., USA). Dogs carrying antibodies against B. burgdorferi sl and/or A. phagocytophilum were classified as "positive"(n=100), the following 100 negative dogs served as control group. In both groups, physical examination and laboratory parameters were compared. 22 (4.9%) dogs had antibodies to B. burgdorferi sl, 78 (19.4%) to A. phagocytophilum, nine (2.0%) to both agents. Bernese Mountain Dogs had significantly more often antibodies against B. burgdorferi sl. Negative dogs were more often diagnosed as "healthy" compared to A. phagocytophilum antibody-positives that showed more often elevated body temperature and poor general condition; beyond that, there were no differences in clinical and laboratory abnormalities between both groups. Although dogs tested negative were more often considered healthy, there were no differences in parameters considered "specific" for both infections between dogs with and without antibodies. Hence, tests detecting antibodies against both agents are not able to detect animals with the clinical
disease.

Berl Munch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 2012 Jul-Aug;125(7-8):337-44.

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