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Seroprevalence and geographic distribution of Dirofilaria immitis and tick-borne infections (Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, and Ehrlichia canis) in dogs from Romania.

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Abstract

Tick-borne diseases are of great concern worldwide. Despite this, in Romania there is only limited information regarding the prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in dogs. In all, 1146 serum samples were tested by SNAP(®) 4Dx(®) (IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., Westbrook, ME) for Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Ehrlichia canis antibodies, and for Dirofilaria immitis antigen. The correlation between positive cases and their geographic distribution, as well as potential risk factors (age, sex, breed, type of dog, habitat, and prophylactic treatments) were evaluated. Overall, 129 dogs (11.3%) were serologically-positive to one or more of the tested pathogens. The seroprevalence for the four infectious agents were: A. phagocytophilum 5.5% (63/1146), D. immitis 3.3% (38/1146), E. canis 2.1% (24/1146), and B. burgdorferi 0.5% (6/1146). Co-infection with E. canis and A. phagocytophilum was registered in 2 dogs (0.2%). The geographical distribution of the seropositive cases suggests clustered foci in southern regions and in the western part of the country for D. immitis, and in the southeastern region (Constan?a County) for E. canis. A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi showed a homogenous distribution, with a tendency for
Lyme-positive samples to concentrate in central Romania. For D. immitis, A. phagocytophilum, and E. canis, administering prophylactic treatments was a risk factor associated with infection. Another associated risk factor was the type of dog (stray dogs were at risk being positive for D. immitis, shelter dogs for E. canis, and hunting dogs for B. burgdorferi). The prevalence of D. immitis was significantly higher in males and in dogs older than 2 years. This survey represents the first data detailing A. phagocytophilum and E. canis seroprevalence in Romanian dogs, and the most comprehensive epidemiological study on vector-borne infections in dogs from this country.

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Jul;12(7):595-604. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0915. Epub 2012 May 18. Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t

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