Surveillance for Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Dirofilaria immitis in Dogs From Three Cities in Colombia


McCown ME, Monterroso VH, Cardona W 14(1). 86 - 90 (Journal Article)

Objective: Emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases are made up in large proportion by vector-borne diseases (VBD). Dogs are parasitized by disease vectors such as ticks and mosquitoes, making dogs adequate reservoirs for zoonoses. Risk of exposure to VBD exists for the U.S. military personnel and Military Working Dogs (MWD) when deployed globally. The importance of canine VBD surveillance relates to veterinary and public health significance for the host nations as well as for the U.S. troops and MWDs. The objective of this work was to survey dogs from the cities of Medellin, Barranquilla, and Cartagena in Colombia to determine the prevalence of heartworm disease (Dirofilaria immitis), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis), Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), and anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum). Methods: Canine (n = 498) blood samples (1-3mL) were collected during July 2011 from Medellin (n = 175), Barranquilla (n = 223), and Cartagena (n = 100) and were tested on-site using IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® Test Kits. Results: The overall combined sample prevalence of E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, D. immitis, and B. burgdorferi was 62%, 33%, 1.6%, and 0%, respectively. In Medellin, 26% of the samples were positive for E. canis, 12% for A. phagocytophilum, and 0% for D. immitis. In Barranquilla, sample prevalence for E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis was 83%, 40%, and 2%, respectively. In Cartagena, E. canis, A. phagocytophilum, and D. immitis prevalence was 80%, 51%, and 3%, respectively. Conclusion: E. canis and A. phagocytophilum are present in all three surveyed cities. There is a higher sample prevalence for E. canis and A. phagocytophilum than for D. immitis. In addition, the prevalence for these organisms is higher in Barranquilla and Cartagena than in Medellin. Overall, this study emphasizes the value of surveillance for VBDs in order to determine disease prevalence, develop risk assessments, and implement control measures.

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