The low seroprevalence of tick-transmitted agents of disease in dogs from southern Ontario and Quebec

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences, Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine, 300 West Drake, Ft. Collins, Colorado 80523, USA.
The Canadian veterinary journal. La revue veterinaire canadienne (Impact Factor: 0.52). 01/2007; 47(12):1194-200.
Source: PubMed


Infectious diseases caused by pathogens transmitted by ticks and other insect vectors are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in both dogs and humans throughout North America. The purpose of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of selected vector-transmitted pathogens in southern Ontario and Quebec. Samples submitted to the Vector Borne Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (VBDDL) at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine were evaluated for antibodies to Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Babesia canis, Bartonella henselae, Borrelia burgdorferi, Bartonella vinsonii subspecies berkhoffii, and Rickettsia rickettsii. Information regarding breed and the city or province from which the sample originated was recorded; however, travel history was unknown for the majority of dogs. Overall seroprevalence to these tick-borne pathogens in southern Ontario and Quebec is low compared with most regions of the United States, suggesting that veterinarians in this region of Canada should pursue diagnostic evidence of infection in dogs with a travel history or prior residence in areas endemic for exposure to tick-borne infections.

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    • "This tick transmits the obligate intracellular rickettsia E. canis, which causes severe clinical complications of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME) (Groves et al., 1975). Although E. canis is more prevalent in tropical and subtropical areas in India, Asia, South America, and Africa (Sidoti and Tringali, 2009), it has recently been more frequently detected in Europe and Canada, possibly due to altered geographic distribution of ticks, importation of animals, and changing climatic conditions (Parola et al., 2008; Gary et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: In view of the fact that stray dogs are a reservoir for many diseases, this study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of Ehrlichia canis in stray dogs in North Trinidad and to evaluate the diagnostic implications of haematological alterations associated with seropositivity. Overall, 41 (44.6%) of 92 stray dogs were seropositive to E. canis by the indirect immunofluorescent antibody test. Dogs, one year of age and older (59.7%) were more likely to be seropositive than dogs less than one year old (13.3%) (p<0.001). No significant differences in seropositivity between females and males were found. The odds ratios showed that seropositive dogs were 3.34 (CI 95%; 1.33-8.59) and 5.17 (CI 95%; 0.19-1.26) times more likely to have low platelet counts and elevated total serum protein concentrations (p=0.014 and p<0.001, respectively) than seronegative dogs. Lower mean platelet counts and a higher mean total protein concentration were associated with seropositivity (p<0.01). Mean eosinophil and segmented neutrophil counts were elevated in dogs that tested negative for E. canis antibodies (p=0.002 and p<0.005, respectively). Other haematological parameters were not different between the 2 groups. The high percentage of stray dogs infected with E. canis should alert veterinarians to the potential risk of transmission of the disease. A comprehensive study possibly using molecular methods such as nested PCR should be undertaken to determine how co-infection with other pathogens may alter haematological profiles. In general, control of ticks and stray dog populations may help to control the spread of tick-borne diseases.
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    • "A study of 120 dogs admitted to vet clinics in the Yucatan, Mexico, found 44.1% of dogs seropositive with ELISA testing (Rodriguez-Vivas et al., 2005). Although there is limited information regarding the prevalence of E. canis in Canada, a recent article noted a relatively low seroprevalence in southern Ontario and Quebec compared to most regions of the United States (Gary et al., 2006). "
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