Hepatozoon canis is a hemoprotozoan organism that infects domestic and wild carnivores throughout much of Europe. The parasite is mainly transmitted through the ingestion of infected ticks containing mature oocysts. The aims of the present survey were to determine the prevalence of H. canis in hunting dogs living in Southern Italy and to assess potential infection risk factors. DNA extracted from whole blood samples, collected from 1433 apparently healthy dogs living in the Napoli, Avellino, and Salerno provinces of Campania region (Southern Italy), was tested by a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to amplify H. canis. Furthermore, the investigated dog population was also screened by qPCR for the presence of Ehrlichia canis, a major tick-borne pathogen in Southern Italy, in order to assess possible co-infections. Two hundred dogs were H. canis PCR-positive, resulting in an overall prevalence of 14.0% (CI 12.2–15.9). Breed category (P < 0.0001), hair coat length (P = 0.015), and province of residence (P < 0.0001) represented significant risk factors for H. canis infection. The presence ofH. canis DNA was also significantly associated with E. canis PCR positivity (P < 0.0001). Hunting dogs in Campania region (Southern Italy) are frequently exposed to H. canis, and the infection is potentially associated with close contact with wildlife. Further studies are needed to assess the pathogenic potential of H. canis, as well as the epidemiological relationships between hunting dogs and wild animal populations sharing the same habitats in Southern Italy.

Hepatozoon canis in hunting dogs from Southern Italy: distribution and risk factors / Pacifico, L; Braff, J; Buono, F; Beall, M; Neola, B; Buch, J; Sgroi, G; Piantedosi, D; Santoro, M; Tyrrell, P; Fioretti, A; Breitschwerdt, Eb; Chandrashekar, R; Veneziano, V.. - In: PARASITOLOGY RESEARCH. - ISSN 1432-1955. - 119:9(2020), pp. 3023-3031. [10.1007/s00436-020-06820-2]

Hepatozoon canis in hunting dogs from Southern Italy: distribution and risk factors

Pacifico L
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Buono F
Methodology
;
Sgroi G
Methodology
;
Piantedosi D
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Fioretti A
Funding Acquisition
;
Veneziano V.
Ultimo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020

Abstract

Hepatozoon canis is a hemoprotozoan organism that infects domestic and wild carnivores throughout much of Europe. The parasite is mainly transmitted through the ingestion of infected ticks containing mature oocysts. The aims of the present survey were to determine the prevalence of H. canis in hunting dogs living in Southern Italy and to assess potential infection risk factors. DNA extracted from whole blood samples, collected from 1433 apparently healthy dogs living in the Napoli, Avellino, and Salerno provinces of Campania region (Southern Italy), was tested by a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay to amplify H. canis. Furthermore, the investigated dog population was also screened by qPCR for the presence of Ehrlichia canis, a major tick-borne pathogen in Southern Italy, in order to assess possible co-infections. Two hundred dogs were H. canis PCR-positive, resulting in an overall prevalence of 14.0% (CI 12.2–15.9). Breed category (P < 0.0001), hair coat length (P = 0.015), and province of residence (P < 0.0001) represented significant risk factors for H. canis infection. The presence ofH. canis DNA was also significantly associated with E. canis PCR positivity (P < 0.0001). Hunting dogs in Campania region (Southern Italy) are frequently exposed to H. canis, and the infection is potentially associated with close contact with wildlife. Further studies are needed to assess the pathogenic potential of H. canis, as well as the epidemiological relationships between hunting dogs and wild animal populations sharing the same habitats in Southern Italy.
2020
Hepatozoon canis in hunting dogs from Southern Italy: distribution and risk factors / Pacifico, L; Braff, J; Buono, F; Beall, M; Neola, B; Buch, J; Sgroi, G; Piantedosi, D; Santoro, M; Tyrrell, P; Fioretti, A; Breitschwerdt, Eb; Chandrashekar, R; Veneziano, V.. - In: PARASITOLOGY RESEARCH. - ISSN 1432-1955. - 119:9(2020), pp. 3023-3031. [10.1007/s00436-020-06820-2]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/837783
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