Survey of selected tick-borne diseases in dogs in Finland

Pérez Vera, Cristina; Kapiainen, Suvi; Junnikkala, Sami; Aaltonen, Kirsi; Spillmann, Thomas; Vapalahti, Olli (2014). Survey of selected tick-borne diseases in dogs in Finland. Parasites & Vectors, 7(1), p. 285. BioMed Central 10.1186/1756-3305-7-285

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BACKGROUND: Due to climate changes during the last decades, ticks have progressively spread into higher latitudes in northern Europe. Although some tick borne diseases are known to be endemic in Finland, to date there is limited information with regard to the prevalence of these infections in companion animals. We determined the antibody and DNA prevalence of the following organisms in randomly selected client-owned and clinically healthy hunting dogs living in Finland: Ehrlichia canis (Ec), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (Ap), Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) and Bartonella. METHODS: Anti-Ap, -Bb and -Ec antibodies were determined in 340 Finnish pet dogs and 50 healthy hunting dogs using the 4DX Snap(R)Test (IDEXX Laboratories). In addition, PCRs for the detection of Ap and Bartonella DNA were performed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors associated with seropositivity to a vector borne agent. RESULTS: The overall seroprevalence was highest for Ap (5.3%), followed by Bb (2.9%), and Ec (0.3%). Seropositivities to Ap and Bb were significantly higher in the Aland Islands (p <0.001), with prevalence of Ap and Bb antibodies of 45 and 20%, respectively. In healthy hunting dogs, seropositivity rates of 4% (2/50) and 2% (1/50) were recorded for Ap and Bb, respectively. One client-owned dog and one hunting dog, both healthy, were infected with Ap as determined by PCR, while being seronegative. For Bartonella spp., none of the dogs tested was positive by PCR. CONCLUSIONS: This study represents the first data of seroprevalence to tick borne diseases in the Finnish dog population. Our results indicate that dogs in Finland are exposed to vector borne diseases, with Ap being the most seroprevalent of the diseases tested, followed by Bb. Almost 50% of dogs living in Aland Islands were Ap seropositive. This finding suggests the possibility of a high incidence of Ap infection in humans in this region. Knowing the distribution of seroprevalence in dogs may help predict the pattern of a tick borne disease and may aid in diagnostic and prevention efforts.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic > Small Animal Clinic, Surgery
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Small Animal Clinic > Intensive Care Unit, Small Animal Clinic

UniBE Contributor:

Pérez Vera, Cristina

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

1756-3305

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Simone Forterre

Date Deposited:

29 Dec 2014 15:55

Last Modified:

29 Dec 2014 15:55

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1756-3305-7-285

PubMed ID:

24957468

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.61347

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/61347

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