Ehrlichiosis in Household Dogs and Parasitized Ticks in Kerman- Iran: Preliminary Zoonotic Risk Assessment
AbstractBackground: Ehrlichiosis is an emerging tick-borne zoonotic disease caused by the family of Anaplasmatacea. Recently, outbreak of human monocytic ehrlichiosis was reported in northern part of Iran. Besides, serological evidence of canine monocytic ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia canis was reported from southeastern of Iran but the epidemiology of this disease is almost undetermined in Iran. The present study was designed to use PCR for detection of Ehrlichia spp. in tick infested household dogs and determination of risks of disease transmission to dog’s owners.Method: Blood samples were prepared from 100 tick infested household dogs after complete clinical examination. Complete cell blood count was done for each sample. DNA extraction was done and PCR was carried out by a commercial kit afterwards. Regarding to PCR results, blood samples were collected from owners and family members who were exposed to infected and non-infected dogs. A similar method was utilized for DNA extraction and PCR in human samples.Result: Ehrlichial DNA was detected by PCR in six percent of Rhipicephalus sanguineus tick pools and 9% of the examined dogs. No positive sample was detected among the 67 examined human bloods.Conclusion: Ehrlichiosis could be considered as an emerging canine disease but owning a dog should not be considered a major risk factor for ehrlichiosis in humans. Further serological and molecular studies in different parts of Iran are required to clarify the epidemiology of ehrlichiosis in canine, ticks, and human population.
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