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Schüle, Carina (2016): Untersuchungen zum Vorkommen von Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, haemotrophen Mykoplasmen und vektorübertragenen Pathogenen bei Polizeihunden aus Albanien. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine



Knowledge on the prevalence of the zoonotic and animal pathogens in dogs from Albania is thus far limited. Samples were collected from 119 police dogs which were deployed throughout Albania and which were living in close relationship with humans. Direct and/or indirect methods were used to examine 119 whole blood and 117 serum samples for the protozoans Toxoplasma gondii (IFAT) and Neospora caninum (IFAT), various vector-borne pathogens of zoonotic and veterinary concern (SFG rickettsiae [ELISA, IFAT], Anaplasma spp. [PCR, IFAT], Ehrlichia canis [PCR, IFAT], Babesia spp. [PCR, IFAT], Leishmania infantum [PCR, IFAT], Hepatozoon canis [PCR], Dirofilaria immitis [ELISA]), and haemotropic mycoplasmas [PCR]. DNA of L. infantum and Anaplasma platys was detected in the blood of four and two dogs, respectively, but all samples were negative for DNA of E. canis, Babesia spp., H. canis and haemotropic mycoplasmas. D. immitis antigen was detected in 11.2% of the serum samples. The overall seroprevalences were: SFG rickettsiae (ELISA), 71.5%; Rickettsia conorii (IFAT), 61.5%; T. gondii, 65.0 %; Anaplasma spp., 31.6%; E. canis, 17.9%; L. infantum, 12.0%; N. caninum, 12.0% and Babesia canis, 3.4%. Seven dogs were PCR-negative and seronegative for all tested pathogens. Significantly more dogs from South Albania (24.3%) had antigen of D. immitis than dogs from North Albania (5.4%, p= 0.046). There was no difference in the geographical distribution of exposure to any other pathogen. Age was found to be a risk factor (p<0.05) for exposure to T. gondii, SFG rickettsiae, Anaplasma spp. and L. infantum. Co-exposure to up to five vector-borne pathogens was found in 51.5% of the 103 dogs that were seropositive for at least one vector-borne pathogen. Results of this study indicate a considerable risk of infection for dogs and/or humans with T. gondii and N. caninum and a range of zoonotic vector-borne bacterial and protozoan pathogens.