Investigação

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Rickettsia conorii Malish and Israeli spotted fever strains causing disease in Portuguese Dogs

Ano
2008
Abstract

Mediterranean spotted fever (MSF) has the highest incidence in Portugal compared with other endemic countries. However, few studies have been performed to understand the disease in dogs, one of the most important hosts of Riphicephalus sanguineus ticks, vector of Rickettsia conorii strains. Our main objective was to identify R. conorii as a cause of disease in dogs with clinical suspicion of tick-borne disease. MSF was investigated in dogs with clinical suspicion of tick-borne disease in Algarve, Portugal. Fifty five dogs were subjected to physical evaluation, and blood samples were collected. Serological assay, detection of rickettsial DNA by PCR, and isolation attempts performed by shell-vial technique were done to confirm the diagnosis of infection by R. conorii in dogs. Differential diagnosis was performed for Anaplasma spp, Ehrlichia canis, Borrelia burgdorferi s.l and Babesia canis. From a total of 55 dogs, 28 (51%) had antibodies against spotted fever group. R. conorii Malish DNA was amplified from six blood samples and R. conorii Israeli spotted fever strain from another two. The illness of the eight dogs with confirmed canine MSF, with a recent history of exposure to ticks, was documented based on clinical manifestations and laboratory findings. The most common signs and symptoms found were fever (100%), anorexia (100%), and prostration (100%). Digestive signs such as vomit were found in 37.5% of the dogs, and diarrhea in 25%. One dog presented epistaxis and another petechial rash. Additionally, the presence of thrombocytopenia (100%), leucopenia (50%) and anemia (50%) were reported. R. sanguineus ticks attached to three different dogs at the time of admission were negative to the presence of rickettsial DNA when they were tested by PCR assay. To our knowledge this study reports the detection of R. conorii Malish and R. conorii Israeli tick typhus strains associated with canine disease for the first time in Portugal. An interesting aspect of this study is that the symptoms presented by the dogs are similar to those described in human cases. The petechial rash found in one dog may well be an indication of severe disease as is the case in humans.

Keywords

Rickettsia conorii; Disease; Dog; Algarve; Portugal

Tipo de Apresentação
Poster
Tipo de Revisão
Internacional
Âmbito Geográfico
Internacional
Situação
Aceite
Área de Trabalho
Referência

Alexandre, N; Sousa, R; Santos, A; Núncio, M; Boinas, F; Bacelar, F (2008). Rickettsia conorii Malish and Israeli spotted fever strains causing disease in Portuguese Dogs. V International Conference on Rickettsiae and Rickettsial Diseases. Marselha (França).