Failure of imidocarb dipropionate to eliminate Hepatozoon canis in naturally infected dogs based on parasitological and molecular evaluation methods

Mariateresa Sasanelli*, Paola Paradies, Beatrice Greco, Osnat Eyal, Valeria Zaza, Gad Baneth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The efficacy of imidocarb dipropionate for the treatment of Hepatozoon canis infection was studied in three naturally infected asymptomatic dogs followed longitudinally over 8 months. Response to treatment was followed by monitoring blood counts, parasitemia levels in blood, parasite in concentrated buffy-coat smears and by PCR. The dogs were initially treated with a low dose of 3. mg/kg imidocarb dipropionate twice a month and when parasitemia persisted after five treatments, with the regular dose of 6. mg/kg. In one dog, H. canis gamonts were no longer detectable by blood and buffy-coat microscopy after 2 months of therapy with 6. mg/kg while in the two other dogs gamonts were intermittently found in blood but persistently detectable in buffy-coat smears during the whole study period. Furthermore, combined therapy with doxycycline monohydrate administered at 10. mg/kg/day PO for 4 weeks also failed to eliminate H. canis. PCR revealed that parasite DNA was present in the blood of all dogs at all sampling dates regardless of treatment refuting the effectiveness of treatment suggested by negative blood microscopy. Detection of H. canis in buffy coat was found to be twice as sensitive than by blood smear and detection by PCR was even more sensitive revealing infection in eight samples (16% of total samples) negative by blood and buffy-coat microscopy. In conclusion, imidocarb dipropionate was not effective in eliminating H. canis from dogs treated repeatedly over 8 months. Microscopical detection is not sufficient for the evaluation of treatment response in H. canis infection and follow up by molecular techniques is recommended.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)194-199
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume171
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Dogs
  • Follow up
  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Microscopy
  • PCR
  • Therapy

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