Antibodies reactive with Bartonella henselae and Ehrlichia canis in dogs from the communal lands of Zimbabwe.

Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences, Massey University, Private Bag 11 222, Palmerston North, New Zealand. p.kelly
Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 09/2004; 75(3):116-20. DOI: 10.4102/jsava.v75i3.465
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The prevalences of antibodies against Bartonella henselae and Ehrlichia canis were determined in sera from 228 dogs in 5 communal lands of Zimbabwe, areas where traditional subsistence agro-pastoralism is practised. The sera were collected from apparently healthy dogs during routine rabies vaccination programmes and tested with indirect fluorescent antibody assays using B. henselae (Houston-I) and E. canis (Oklahoma) as antigens. We found reactive antibodies (> or =1:80) against B. henselae in 14% of the dogs tested. Seropositive animals were found in Bikita (41%; 17/42), Omay (13%; 6/48), Chinamora (5%; 2/38) and Matusadona (15%; 7/48). No seropositive dogs were found in Chiredzi (0%; 0/52). Antibodies reactive with E. canis (> or =1:80) were found in 34% of the dogs tested, from Bikita (88%; 37/42), Chiredzi (31%; 16/52), Omay (17%; 8/48), Chinamora (26%; 10/38) and Matusadona (15%; 7/48). Our survey shows dogs in the communal lands of Zimbabwe are frequently exposed to E. canis and B. henselae or closely related species. Further studies are indicated to determine the pathogenicity of the organisms infecting these dogs and their clinical significance.