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 (Impact Factor: 0.35). 09/2004; 75(3):116-20. DOI: 10.4102/jsava.v75i3.465
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Serologic and molecular studies detected evidence of E. canis among African dogs throughout the continent, including Sudan (Inokuma et al., 2006b), Zimbabwe (Kelly et al., 2004; Matthewman et al., 1993), Cameroon (Ndip et al., 2005), Ivory Coast and Gabon (Davoust et al., 2006), and Tunisia, Senegal and Chad (Brouqui et al., 1991). Positive test rates in these studies ranged from 32% (Ndip et al., 2005) to 80.8% (Inokuma et al., 2006b). "
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    ABSTRACT: The ehrlichioses have been subject to increasing interest from veterinary and public health perspectives, but experimental studies of these diseases and their etiologic agents can be challenging. Ehrlichia canis, the primary etiologic agent of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis, is relatively well characterized and offers unique advantages and opportunities to study interactions between a monocytotropic pathogen and both its vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Historically, advances in tick-borne disease control strategies have typically followed explication of tick-pathogen-vertebrate interactions, thus it is reasonable to expect novel, more sustainable approaches to control of these diseases as the transmission of their associated infections are investigated at the molecular through ecological levels. Better understanding of the interactions between E. canis and its canine and tick hosts would also elucidate similar interactions for other Ehrlichia species as well as the potential roles of canine sentinels, reservoirs and models of tick-borne zoonoses. This article summarizes natural exposure studies and experimental investigations of E. canis in the context of what is understood about biological vectors of tick-borne Anaplasmataceae.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Veterinary Parasitology
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    • "Seroprevalence studies have suggested the presence of E. canis or related Ehrlichia spp. infecting dogs throughout Africa (Pretorius and Kelly, 1998; Brouqui et al., 1991; Botros et al., 1995; Kelly et al., 2004). Notably, higher antibody titers to E. chaffeensis than to E. canis were reported in 7 dogs from South Africa, suggesting that E. chaffeensis was the etiologic agent in those cases (Pretorius and Kelly, 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii are agents of emerging human ehrlichioses in North America and are transmitted primarily by Amblyomma americanum ticks, while Ehrlichia canis is the globally distributed cause of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME) and is transmitted by the brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Although E. canis and Ehrlichia ruminantium are endemic in Africa, the presence of ehrlichial agents in dogs and ticks in Cameroon has not been investigated. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of ehrlichial infections in Cameronian dogs using a combination of serologic and molecular methods. Peripheral blood was collected, clinical signs and the presence or absence of ticks on dogs (n=104) presenting for various reasons at local veterinary clinics around the Mount Cameroon region were noted. IFA identified 33 dogs (32%) with antibodies reactive with E. canis, and reactivity of these sera with all major E. canis antigens (200, 140, 95, 75, 47, 36, 28, and 19-kDa) was confirmed by immunoblotting. Multicolor real-time PCR detected ehrlichial DNA (E. canis (15) and E. ewingii (2)) in 17 dogs (16.3%), all of which had attached ticks at time of presentation. The dsb amplicons (378 bp) from E. canis and E. ewingii were identical to gene sequences from North American isolates. This study identifies canine ehrlichiosis as a prevalent unrecognized cause of disease in Cameroonian canines.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2005 · Veterinary Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Sera from 173 apparently healthy, unvaccinated dogs from 4 widely separated communal lands in Zimbabwe were tested by ELISA for antibodies against canine distemper virus. Overall, 82% were positive with high prevalences found in each communal land. The highest seroprevalence was in dogs between 1 and 2 years of age (91%; 49/54). These results show dogs in the communal lands of Zimbabwe are commonly exposed to canine distemper virus and that a substantial number survive infection. The role that the virus might play in the high mortality rate of the dog population on communal land warrants further investigation.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2005 · Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
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