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      Comparison of selected canine vector-borne diseases between urban animal shelter and rural hunting dogs in Korea

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          A serological survey for Dirofilaria immitis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, and Borrelia burgdorferi infections in rural hunting and urban shelter dogs mainly from southwestern regions of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was conducted. From a total of 229 wild boar or pheasant hunting dogs, the number of serologically positive dogs for any of the four pathogens was 93 (40.6%). The highest prevalence observed was D. immitis (22.3%), followed by A. phagocytophilum (18.8%), E. canis (6.1%) and the lowest prevalence was B. burgdorferi (2.2%). In contrast, stray dogs found within the city limits of Gwangju showed seropositivity only to D. immitis (14.6%), and none of the 692 dogs responded positive for A. phagocytophilum, E. canis or B. burgdorferi antibodies. This study indicates that the risk of exposure to vector-borne diseases in rural hunting dogs can be quite high in Korea, while the urban environment may not be suitable for tick infestation on dogs, as evidenced by the low infection status of tick-borne pathogens in stray dogs.

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          Most cited references 15

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          Human infection with Ehrlichia canis accompanied by clinical signs in Venezuela.

          A total of 20 human patients with clinical signs compatible with human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME), who were admitted to the emergency clinic in Lara State, Venezuela, were studied. Thirty percent (6/20) patients were positive for Ehrlichia canis 16S rRNA on gene-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Compared with the U.S. strains, 16S rRNA gene sequences from all six patients had the same base mutation as the sequence of the E. canis Venezuelan human Ehrlichia (VHE) strain previously isolated from an asymptomatic human. This study is the first report of E. canis infection of human patients with clinical signs of HME.
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            Tick-borne rickettsial pathogens in ticks and small mammals in Korea.

            In order to investigate the prevalence of tick-borne infectious agents among ticks, ticks comprising five species from two genera (Hemaphysalis spp. and Ixodes spp.) were screened using molecular techniques. Ticks (3,135) were collected from small wild-caught mammals or by dragging/flagging in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and were pooled into a total of 1,638 samples (1 to 27 ticks per pool). From the 1,638 tick samples, species-specific fragments of Anaplasma phagocytophilum (1 sample), Anaplasma platys (52 samples), Ehrlichia chaffeensis (29 samples), Ehrlichia ewingii (2 samples), Ehrlichia canis (18 samples), and Rickettsia rickettsii (28 samples) were amplified by PCR assay. Twenty-one pooled and individual tick samples had mixed infections of two (15 samples) or three (6 samples) pathogens. In addition, 424 spleen samples from small captured mammals (389 rodents, 33 insectivores, and 2 weasels) were screened for selected zoonotic pathogens. Species-specific DNA fragments of A. phagocytophilum (110 samples), A. platys (68 samples), E. chaffeensis (8 samples), E. ewingii (26 samples), E. canis (51 samples), and Rickettsia sp. (22 samples) were amplified by PCR assay. One hundred thirty small mammals had single infections, while 4, 14, and 21 striped field mice (Apodemus agrarius) had mixed infections of four, three, and two pathogens, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis based on nucleotide sequence comparison also revealed that Korean strains of E. chaffeensis clustered closely with those from China and the United States, while the Rickettsia (rOmpA) sequences clustered within a clade together with a Chinese strain. These results suggest that these agents should be considered in differential diagnosis while examining cases of acute febrile illnesses in humans as well as animals in the ROK.
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              A serological study of exposure to arthropod-borne pathogens in dogs from northeastern Spain.

              There is limited information regarding the prevalence of many vector borne pathogens in Europe and especially in Spanish dogs. We investigated 206 sick and 260 clinically healthy dogs from three different regions in northeastern Spain for antibodies to Rickettsia conorii (Rc), Ehrlichia canis (Ec), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), Bartonella henselae (Bh), Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii (Bvb), Leishmania infantum (Li) and Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) and for antigen of Dirofilaria immitis (Di). Total prevalences were the following: Rc (56.4%), Li (30%), Ec (16.7%), Bh (16.8%), Ap (11.5%), Bvb (1.07%), Di (0.6%) and Bb (0.6%). Seroprevalences for Rc, Ec, Ap, Bh, and Bvb and Bb and Di antigens were similar among the three different study sites. The Ec seroprevalence, as determined by Snap 3DX, was statistically lower in dogs from Mallorca (0%) than Tarragona (16%) and Barcelona (5%) (P < 0.0001). Detection of Rc antibodies was associated with seroreactivity to Ec and Ap antigens (P = 0.018 and P = 0.002, respectively). IFA Ec antibodies were associated with Ap seroreactivity (P < 0.0001). There was no association between the clinical status, sex, time of the year when samples were collected, life-style or exposure to fleas or ticks and a positive test result for Ec, Bh, Bvb, or Bb antibodies or Di antigens. Li seroreactivity was associated with illness and living outdoors (P < 0.0001, P = 0.029; respectively), Rc seroreactivity with the male gender (P = 0.028) and Ap seroreactivity with living outdoors (P = 0.045). This study indicates that exposure to Rc, Li, Ec or related Ehrlichia spp., Bh and Ap or a related spp., is common whereas Di, Bb and Bvb is uncommon among dogs from the Mediterranean basin. We also provide serological data that suggests the existence of a novel Ehrlichia species on Mallorca island.

                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central
                8 April 2010
                : 3
                : 32
                [1 ]Biotherapy Human Resources Center (BK21), Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea
                [2 ]Australasian Centre for Companion Animal Research, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch 6150, WA, Australia
                [3 ]College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea
                [4 ]Gwangju Animal Shelter, Gwangju 500-757, Korea
                Copyright ©2010 Lim et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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