TITLE

Hepatozoon canis infection in ticks during spring and summer in Italy

AUTHOR(S)
Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Latrofa, Maria; Weigl, Stefania; Tarallo, Viviana; Lia, Riccardo; Otranto, Domenico
PUB. DATE
February 2012
SOURCE
Parasitology Research;Feb2012, Vol. 110 Issue 2, p695
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Hepatozoon canis is a common protozoan of dogs, being among the most prevalent tick-borne pathogens infecting dogs around the world. It is primarily transmitted by Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick. In this study we tested ticks collected from dogs and from the environment in order to track the origin of an outbreak of H. canis infection detected in October 2009 in a private dog shelter in southern Italy. Ticks from dogs ( n = 267) were collected during the spring of 2009, whereas ticks from environment ( n = 300) were found on sticky traps placed in the same shelter during the summer of 2009. All ticks were tested by PCR for the detection of a H. canis 18S ribosomal RNA gene fragment. Four (1.5%, one female and three males) ticks collected from dogs were PCR positive. None of the larvae collected from the environment were positive, but a relatively high infection rate (8.0%) was detected in nymphs. These findings point out that dogs became infected during the summer, when ticks were abundant and highly infected by H. canis. Moreover, this study suggests that castor oil sticky traps might be useful to collect engorged immature ticks in highly infested environments (e.g., dog shelters). This might be particularly interesting to evaluate the level of infection by certain pathogens in free-ranging ticks R. sanguineus, as done in the present study.
ACCESSION #
70531985

 

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