Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 01-09

Babesia spp. and Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in dogs from southeastern Bahia, Brazil

Harvey, Tatiani VitorVeloso, Jéssica FontesSantos, Milane RibeiroAssunção, Maíra SilesSauer, LeonardoGuedes, Paula Elisa BrandãoOliveira, Thais Nascimento de AndradeAlbuquerque, George RegoSilva, Fabiana LessaMunhoz, Alexandre DiasCarlos, Renata Santiago Alberto

Background: Tickborne diseases are frequent in tropical countries such as Brazil. Protozoa of the Babesia genus and bacteria of the Ehrlichia genus spread throughout the country with high prevalences in urban and rural areas, causing clinical or subclinical diseases in dogs. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of infection from Babesia spp. and Ehrlichia chaffeensis in the dog population in the municipality of Ituberá, Bahia, Brazil, and to verify the risk factors associated with the infections. Materials, Methods & Results: A cross-sectional study was conducted, consisting of the following procedures: clinical examination and blood samples collection from 380 dogs and application of a structure questionnaire to dog owners to collect epidemiological data. All dogs were evaluated for the presence of ticks and clinical signs associated with the infections. Blood samples were collected and tested for Babesia spp. through capillary blood smears, indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFAT), and polymerase chain reaction (PCR); all the samples were also tested for E. chaffeensis through nested PCR. Intra-erythrocyte piroplasms were visualized in the blood smears of two animals (2/380; 0.5%) in the cytology exams. Anti-B. canis antibodies were detected in 140/380 (36.8%) dogs, at 1:40 dilution. By PCR, 147/380 (38.7%) dogs tested positive for infection by Babesia sp., but no animal was infected by E. chaffeensis. Only 115/380 dogs (30.3%) were infested by ticks. In total, 223/380 dogs (58.7%) were found infected by Babesia spp. No clinical signs were it found to be significant for the infection. The infected (Ht = 40%) and uninfected dogs’ (Ht = 39%) hematocrit averages were not found to significantly differ (P = 0.47). No hematological changes were found to be significant for the disease. The evaluated variables sex, habitat (urban or rural) […](AU)

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