Seroprevalence of Ehrlichia Canis Infection in Stray Dogs from Serbia

Nataša Bogićević 1 , Milica Elezović Radovanović 1 , Ana Vasić 1 , Marija Manić 2 , Jovan Marić 1 , Dragica Vojinović 3 , Dragan Rogožarski 4 , Ana Gligić 5 ,  and Miroslav Valčić 1
  • 1 Department of Infectious Diseases of Animals and Bees, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
  • 2 Department of Clinical Microbiology and Parasitology, Specialized Veterinary Institute “Niš”, Niš, Serbia
  • 3 Department of Immunology, Scientific Veterinary Institute of Serbia, , Belgrade, Serbia
  • 4 Department for Animal Health Care, Specialized Veterinary Institute, , Požarevac, Serbia
  • 5 Institute of Virology, , Belgrade, Serbia

Abstract

Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis is a zoonotic bacterial disease with worldwide distribution. With regards to the population of stray dogs, the disease is facilitated due to their lifestyle and the lack of anti-parasitic protection. The aim of this study was to provide serological data on the presence of a specific Ehrlichia canis IgG antibodies in stray dogs, originating from 7 municipalities in Serbia. During the period from April 2013 to June 2014, 217 canine sera were submitted to the laboratory of the Department of Infectious Diseases of Animals and Bees, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade. An immunofluorescent antibody test (IFAT) was performed to detect antibodies to Ehrlichia canis (cut off, 1:50). Seropositive dogs were found in 5 out of 7 counties with a seroprevalence varying from 3.57% to 20% and an overall seroprevalence of 11.06% (24/217). There was no statistically significant difference between the prevalence of infection and the host age or gender. Results showed that stray dogs contribute to maintaining and spreading of Ehrlichia canis in Serbia. Due to the close relationship between people and dogs, it is of great importance to constantly monitor and improve prevention of this disease.

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