2014 journal article
Serological and molecular prevalence of selected canine vector borne pathogens in blood donor candidates, clinically healthy volunteers, and stray dogs in North Carolina
PARASITES & VECTORS, 7.
Canine vector borne diseases (CVBDs) comprise illnesses caused by a spectrum of pathogens that are transmitted by arthropod vectors. Some dogs have persistent infections without apparent clinical, hematological or biochemical abnormalities, whereas other dogs develop acute illnesses, persistent subclinical infections, or chronic debilitating diseases. The primary objective of this study was to screen healthy dogs for serological and molecular evidence of regionally important CVBDs.Clinically healthy dogs (n = 118), comprising three different groups: Gp I blood donor candidates (n = 47), Gp II healthy dog volunteers (n = 50), and Gp III stray dogs (n = 21) were included in the study. Serum and ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA) anti-coagulated blood specimens collected from each dog were tested for CVBD pathogens.Of the 118 dogs tested, 97 (82%) dogs had been exposed to or were infected with one or more CVBD pathogens. By IFA testing, 9% of Gp I, 42% of Gp II and 19% of Gp III dogs were seroreactive to one or more CVBD pathogens. Using the SNAP 4DX assay, Gp I dogs were seronegative for Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., and B. burgdorferi (Lyme disease) antibodies and D. immitis antigen. In Gp II, 8 dogs were Ehrlichia spp. seroreactive, 2 were infected with D. immitis and 1 was B. burgdorferi (Lyme disease) seroreactive. In Gp III, 6 dogs were infected with D. immitis and 4 were Ehrlichia spp. seroreactive. Using the BAPGM diagnostic platform, Bartonella DNA was PCR amplified and sequenced from 19% of Gp I, 20% of Gp II and 10% of Gp III dogs. Using PCR and DNA sequencing, 6% of Gps I and II and 19% of Gp III dogs were infected with other CVBD pathogens.The development and validation of specific diagnostic testing modalities has facilitated more accurate detection of CVBDs. Once identified, exposure to vectors should be limited and flea and tick prevention enforced.