Identification of Babesia species infecting dogs using reverse line blot hybridization for six canine piroplasms, and evaluation of co-infection by other vector-borne pathogens

Yael Yisaschar-Mekuzas, Charles L. Jaffe, Josep Pastor, Luís Cardoso, Gad Baneth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Canine infection by vector-borne hemoparasites is frequent in tropical and sub-tropical areas where exposure to hematophageous ectoparasites is intensive. A reverse line blot (RLB) assay was designed to improve the simultaneous detection of all named canine piroplasm species combined with other vector-borne pathogens of dogs including Ehrlichia canis, Hepatozoon canis and Leishmania infantum common in the Mediterranean basin. Blood samples of 110 dogs from Spain (n= 21), Portugal (n= 14) and Israel (n= 75) were analyzed. The study evaluated 2 groups of dogs, 49 dogs with piroplasm infection detected by blood smear microscopy from Portugal, Spain and Israel, and 61 dogs surveyed from rural areas in Israel, for which infection status with vector-borne pathogens was unknown. Among the dogs previously diagnosed with piroplasmosis, infection with Babesia canis, Babesia vogeli, Babesia gibsoni and Theileria annae was detected in the Iberian dogs while only B vogeli was found in Israeli dogs. These differences are attributed to the absence of tick vectors for some piroplasm species such as Dermacentor reticulatus in Israel. Eleven (79%) of the Babesia-positive dogs from Portugal were co-infected with other pathogens including L infantum, H canis and E canis. Eight of 61 (13%) rural Israeli dogs were co-infected with two or more pathogens including B vogeli, L infantum, E canis, and H canis. Triple infections were demonstrated in 2 dogs. The RLB detection limit for Babesia was 50-fold lower than that of PCR. This study presents a RLB to simultaneously detect and separate the major vector-borne dog pathogens in southern Europe and the Middle East.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume191
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the U.S. Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC) Project NIH-NIAID contract No. TA-MOU-03-M23-015. C.L.J. holds the Michael and Penny Feiwel Chair of Dermatology. The study funders had no involvement in the scientific contents of this paper.

Keywords

  • Babesia
  • Dog
  • Ehrlichia
  • Hepatozoon
  • Leishmania
  • Reverse line blot

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