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Sero-prevalence of granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in Swedish dogs 1991-94.

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Abstract

In Sweden, 2 tick-borne zoonotic diseases, granulocytic ehrlichiosis and borreliosis, are frequently diagnosed in dogs, using serological assays. The aims of this study were to determine the sero-prevalences of antibodies to Ehrlichia spp. and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato during 1991-94 in dogs, not clinically suspected to be infected with either of the 2 agents. Samples (n = 611) were selected from a serum bank using a systematic sampling strategy, stratified across the 4-y period. The stored sera had originally been submitted in order to verify or rule out infection with Sarcoptes scabiei. The overall sero-prevalence for Ehrlichia spp. was 17.7% and for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato 3.9% (n = 588). Only a few dogs in the northern part of Sweden were sero-positive for Ehrlichia spp. and none were positive for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. An increased sero-prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. was seen during the years studied. The sero-prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. varied with season. Sero-positivity to both agents increased with age. Both diseases are considered zoonotic, and the increase in sero-prevalence of Ehrlichia spp. over the years may reflect the degree of infection in ticks and may have implications for human health.

Scand J Infect Dis. 2000;32(1):19-25. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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