A Retrospective Epidemiological Study: The Prevalence of Ehrlichia canis and Babesia vogeli in Dogs in the Aegean Region of Turkey

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Among tick-borne diseases, Ehrlichia canis and Babesia piroplasm cause important diseases in dogs where the distributions of the pathogen, vector and host overlap. The primary aim of the present study was to detect the prevalence of Babesia spp. and E. canis using PCR and reverse line blot (RLB) hybridization assay in a total of 379 samples comprising stray and owned dogs and to compare the diagnostic sensitivity of the two tests. Overall, 41.4% of dogs were infected with B. vogeli and/or E. canis as single (35.4%) and mixed (6.1%) infections. The majority of Babesia positive dogs (74.1%) were co-infected with E. canis. PCR detected a higher (P= 0.000) number of positivity in some provinces compared to RLB. To the best of our knowledge, these findings provide the first molecular evidence for the existence of B. vogeli in the Aegean Region, Turkey. The present study pinpoints the distribution and prevalence of E. canis and B. vogeli in the Aegean region of Turkey as of 2004 and as such establishes a baseline. This is of pivotal importance for future studies aimed to demonstrate changes in the dynamics of E. canis and B. vogeli infections in the region.

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