Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Ehrlichia canis Infection among Companion Dogs of Mashhad, North East of Iran, 2009–2010
AbstractBackground: The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of canine ehrlichiosis and risk factors of this disease in companion dogs’ population of Mashhad, North East of Iran. Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (CME) is a zoonotic disease transmitted by ticks, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, and caused by an obligate intracellular bacterium, Ehrlichia canis.Methods: During September 2009 until November 2010, 250 companion dogs from Mashhad, North-East of Iran, were examined for serum antibody detection against E. canis by means of immunofluorescence assay test (IFAT) and factors associated with a positive antibody response.Results: There was a very low prevalence of anti-E. canis antibodies (0.8%, 2/250) among studied dogs. The antibody titers for two seropositive dogs were 1:80 and 1:160, respectively. One (0.4%) of seropositive dogs was infested with, R. sanguineus. In blood smears from one of infested dogs (0.4%), typical morulae of E. canis was observed in lymphocytes. The results confirm that the lowest occurrence of reactive dogs indoors probably related to low tick infestion.Conclusion: This is the first report that describes serological evidences of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis in North- East of Iran. Results suggested that E. canis infection in owned pet dogs from North of Khorasan was not endemic from 2009 to 2010. Additional molecular studies are necessary to confirm E. canis infection and to identify the local strains of the organism.
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