Dogs are commonly exposed to vector-borne pathogens (VBPs), yet few data are available on hunting dogs, which are often at high risk of infection due to their involvement in field activities. To investigate the occurrence of VBPs and evaluate the relative performance of different diagnostic tools, blood and serum samples were collected from hunting dogs (n = 1,433) in rural areas of southern Italy. All samples were tested by Knott's technique for filarioids, serologically (SNAP® 4Dx® Plus) for Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Dirofilaria immitis and Ehrlichia spp. and molecularly (qPCR) for all except B. burgdorferi of the above pathogens plus Babesia spp. and Leishmania infantum. Logistic regression was run to evaluate the statistical associations between the risk of VBP infection and independent variables (such as geographic area of provenience, age class and sex) and K-Cohen formula for assessing the concordance among diagnostic tests. Overall, out of 321 dogs (22.4%) positive to at least one VBP, 28 (1.9%) were infected by filarial species at the Knott's technique. In particular, Acanthocheilonema reconditum was the most prevalent (1.6%), followed by D. immitis (0.2%) and Dirofilaria repens (0.1%). One hundred forty (9.8%) and 231 (16.1%) dogs scored positive to VBPs by serological and molecular methods, respectively. The most prevalent pathogens detected were Ehrlichia spp. (7.3%) with SNAP® 4Dx® Plus, and A. reconditum (7.7%) by qPCR. Statistics revealed a significant association (p < 0.001) between A. reconditum infestation and both Ehrlichia spp. seropositivity and geographical origin of dogs. An agreement of 99.9%, 94.0% and 95.7% for Knott - SNAP® 4Dx® Plus, Knott - qPCR and SNAP® 4Dx® Plus - qPCR for D. immitis was found, respectively. Data demonstrate a high prevalence of VBPs in hunting dogs, indicating that this group of animals is largely exposed to several arthropod vector species and suggesting the transmission risk of pathogens to humans in rural areas of southern Italy. A multi-diagnostic approach and a deeper cooperation among healthcare and stakeholders are required to prevent VBP infections to animals and humans.

Vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic concern in hunting dogs of southern Italy / Sgroi, Giovanni; Buono, Francesco; Iatta, Roberta; Beall, Melissa; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; Buch, Jesse; Piantedosi, Diego; Veneziano, Vincenzo; Otranto, Domenico. - In: ACTA TROPICA. - ISSN 1873-6254. - (2022). [10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106502]

Vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic concern in hunting dogs of southern Italy

Giovanni Sgroi
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Francesco Buono
Secondo
Methodology
;
Diego Piantedosi
Validation
;
Vincenzo Veneziano
Penultimo
Membro del Collaboration Group
;
2022

Abstract

Dogs are commonly exposed to vector-borne pathogens (VBPs), yet few data are available on hunting dogs, which are often at high risk of infection due to their involvement in field activities. To investigate the occurrence of VBPs and evaluate the relative performance of different diagnostic tools, blood and serum samples were collected from hunting dogs (n = 1,433) in rural areas of southern Italy. All samples were tested by Knott's technique for filarioids, serologically (SNAP® 4Dx® Plus) for Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato, Dirofilaria immitis and Ehrlichia spp. and molecularly (qPCR) for all except B. burgdorferi of the above pathogens plus Babesia spp. and Leishmania infantum. Logistic regression was run to evaluate the statistical associations between the risk of VBP infection and independent variables (such as geographic area of provenience, age class and sex) and K-Cohen formula for assessing the concordance among diagnostic tests. Overall, out of 321 dogs (22.4%) positive to at least one VBP, 28 (1.9%) were infected by filarial species at the Knott's technique. In particular, Acanthocheilonema reconditum was the most prevalent (1.6%), followed by D. immitis (0.2%) and Dirofilaria repens (0.1%). One hundred forty (9.8%) and 231 (16.1%) dogs scored positive to VBPs by serological and molecular methods, respectively. The most prevalent pathogens detected were Ehrlichia spp. (7.3%) with SNAP® 4Dx® Plus, and A. reconditum (7.7%) by qPCR. Statistics revealed a significant association (p < 0.001) between A. reconditum infestation and both Ehrlichia spp. seropositivity and geographical origin of dogs. An agreement of 99.9%, 94.0% and 95.7% for Knott - SNAP® 4Dx® Plus, Knott - qPCR and SNAP® 4Dx® Plus - qPCR for D. immitis was found, respectively. Data demonstrate a high prevalence of VBPs in hunting dogs, indicating that this group of animals is largely exposed to several arthropod vector species and suggesting the transmission risk of pathogens to humans in rural areas of southern Italy. A multi-diagnostic approach and a deeper cooperation among healthcare and stakeholders are required to prevent VBP infections to animals and humans.
2022
Vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic concern in hunting dogs of southern Italy / Sgroi, Giovanni; Buono, Francesco; Iatta, Roberta; Beall, Melissa; Chandrashekar, Ramaswamy; Buch, Jesse; Piantedosi, Diego; Veneziano, Vincenzo; Otranto, Domenico. - In: ACTA TROPICA. - ISSN 1873-6254. - (2022). [10.1016/j.actatropica.2022.106502]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/885687
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