Blood and faecal samples, collected from 46 healthy adult free-ranging golden jackals captured in two different locations in Israel, were examined. A serological survey was conducted to investigate the prevalence of circulating antibodies reacting with four common canine pathogens: canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus (CPV), Ehrlichia canis and Leishmania infantum. Faecal floatation and haematological tests were also performed. The seroloprevalence of CPV, E. canis, CDV, and L. infantum were 72.3% (34/47), 54.3% (25/46), 52.2% (24/46), and 6.5% (3/46) respectively. Faecal floatation tests revealed a high prevalence of Ancylostoma caninum (13/17, 76%) and a low prevalence (1/17) of Dipilidium caninum infestation. Examination of blood smears revealed Hepatozoon canis gamonts in one jackal. Golden jackals are among the most common free-ranging carnivores in Israel and neighbouring countries. Their habitats are in proximity to densely populated areas and they bear close phylogenetic relation to the domestic dog. These facts, combined with the high prevalence of the jackals' exposure to the major canine pathogens demonstrated in this study, suggest that they may serve as a reservoir for the transmission of certain diseases to domestic dogs.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Ms Shlomit Mazar from Biogal laboratories and Dr Dalit Strauss for their technical assistance. This research was partially funded by grant number S0 220/5-1 of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) for the Palestinian-German-Israeli Cooperative Project on leishmaniasis in Palestine and Israel.
- Canine distemper virus
- Ehrlichia canis
- Leishmania infantum