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Home » Archive » 2019

TDK conference 2019

Examination of zoonotic vector-borne diseases in shelter dogs
Rózsa Bernadett - year 6
University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Department of Parasitology and Zoology
Supervisor: Dr. Róbert Farkas

Abstract:

Our study focused on shelter dogs with potential parasites transmitted by bloodsucking vectors (ticks, fleas, mosquitoes) and threaten human health (for example workers, volunteers, adopters).

Considering the prevalent two types of dirofilariosis (D. immitis and D.repens), it is undeniable these parasites are a threat to human health in Hungary. We examined 155 dogs, 8 month or older, in Budapest, Pest County, Pécs and Barcs dog shelters. Blood samples were obtained after the signalment and history was taken (e.g. origin, location, age, sex) were collected. Examination of zoonotic pathogens (Dirofilaria spp., Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi and Bartonella henselae) was performed by parasitological (native and modified Knott's method), serological (DiroCHEK, IDEXX SNAP 4Dx Plus), and / or molecular biology testing.

The most frequently shown pathogens were Dirofilaria spp., comprising 27.7% of our positive samples. Of the 115 dogs, 33 (21.3%) carried D. repens microfilaria which is the subcutaneous form of dirofilariosis. The sanitary significance of this species has been known in Hungary for decades, and more people are infected each year. D. immitis, which causes heartworm disease in 17 (11.0%) dogs, from which 5 animals were diagnosed with occult dirofilariosis. We also found both D. immitis and D. repens, simultaneously in 7 cases. The DNA of Bartonella henselae, known as the cat-scratching disease in human, can be spread by fleas as a vector, was not found in any sample. No dogs were seropositive for Borrelia bourgdorferi, but 5 dogs were seropositive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

The results of our study show that shelter dogs are affected by vector-borne illnesses and potential hosts for further transmission. Therefore, aside from their importance to animal health, any zoonotic vector-borne disease (e.g. Dirofilaria spp. and Borrelia spp.) can be very important to human health.



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