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Summary

The aim of the present study was to investigate the efficacy and the egg reappearance period (ERP) of ivermectin (IVM) in donkeys during a 13-week period. The study involved a total of 14 adult Amiata breed donkeys, 7 – 13 years of age, and naturally infected with small strongyles. A group of 10 donkeys was treated with IVM oral paste at a dose rate of 200 mcg/kg BW. Another group of 4 donkeys was kept as untreated control group. Faecal samples were collected and examined for strongyle eggs on day 0 before treatment. IVM efficacy was based on the faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT) on day 14 post-treatment. Then individual faecal samples were collected and examined by FECRT at weekly intervals. A FECRT of 100 % was found after treatment with IVM and its ERP, defined as the week when the mean FECRT decreased until to become lower than 90 %efficacy, was estimated to be 11 weeks without signs of developing anthelmintic resistance. No adverse reactions were observed during the study period. Our findings may be useful to veterinary practitioners and breeders as they show that IVM, at the recommended dose rate, can be still considered a highly effective and safe pharmacological tool for the treatment of small strongyles in donkeys. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all possible strategies are undertaken to avoid the risk of emergence of anthelmintic resistance to IVM in donkeys.

Summary

Crenosoma striatum is a host-specifi c metastrongiloid nematode causing respiratory tract disease in hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus). Since few studies have reported C. striatum in hedgehogs and little genetic data is available concerning this lungworm, this study aimed to determine the occurrence of C. striatum in a population sample of hedgehogs from Portugal, additionally providing morphological, histological and molecular data. From 2017 to 2018 a survey of infection was carried out in 11 necropsied hedgehogs. Worms were extracted from fresh lung tissues and microscopically evaluated. Molecular characterization of partial mitochondrial (12S rRNA) and nuclear (18S rRNA) genes was performed. The presence of lungworms in pulmonary tissues of five hedgehogs (45.5%) was detected. Morphological and histopathological analyses evidenced adult forms of nematodes consistent with C. striatum. Molecular characterization of 18S rRNA genes confirmed the classifi cation as C. striatum. Also, novel genetic data characterizing the mitochondrial (12S rRNA) gene of C. striatum is presented.

This is the first report of C. striatum infection in hedgehogs of Portugal. The findings here reported provide new insights regarding the geographic distribution and the molecular identification of this lungworm species.

Summary

Integrated studies are required to better understand the relationships between groups of soil microfauna under the influence of various biotic and abiotic factors that drive and characterise ecosystems. We analysed soil nematode communities and microbial diversity and the properties of three soil types to assess the effect of these environmental variables on biological diversity in natural (forest), semi-natural (meadow), and managed (agriculture) habitats of the Slovak Republic. The type of ecosystem and soil and the interaction of both factors had considerable effects on most monitored abiotic and biotic soil properties. The forest with a Chernozem soil had the most nematode species, highest nematode diversity, highest abundance of nematode within functional guilds, best values of ecological and functional indices, highest microbial biomass, highest microbial richness and diversity, and the highest values of various soil properties, followed by meadows with a Cambisol soil. The agricultural ecosystem with a Stagnosol soil had the lowest biological diversity and values of the soil properties. Several nematode species were new for Slovak nematode fauna. Sampling date and the interaction of all three factors (ecosystem × soil × date) had minor or no effect on most of the parameters, except soil moisture content, microbial richness, nematode channel ratio, nematode maturity index, and plant parasitic index. Both the biological indicators and basic soil properties indicated that the natural forest with a Chernozem soil was the best habitat from an ecological point of view. This ecosystem is thus the most appropriate for ecological studies.

Summary

During the past few years, several localities with increasing Dirofilaria immitis occurrences have been identified in Slovakia; particularly in areas regarded as endemic for Dirofilaria repens up until now. In terms of that, dogs with clinically manifested heartworm disease have been referred to the veterinary ambulances more frequently. We report in this study, two autochthonous cases of D. immitisinfections diagnosed in two seven-year-old siblings of Tibetan Mastiff dogs from the Košice region of south-eastern Slovakia. The course of the disease in both dogs were very different. The female dog did not manifest any unusual findings, however the male dog exhibited severe clinical signs of heartworm disease that lead to his death. The subsequent autopsy revealed adult D. immitis worms in the right heart ventricle and pulmonary arteries.

Summary

Three clinical cases of dogs with Pearsonema plica infection were detected in the western part of Slovakia. All cases were detected within five months. Infections were confirmed after positive findings of capillarid eggs in the urine sediment in following breeds. The eight years old Jack Russell Terrier, one year old Italian Greyhound, and eleven years old Yorkshire terrier were examined and treated. In one case, the infection was found accidentally in clinically healthy dog. Two other patients had nonspecific clinical signs such as apathy, inappetence, vomiting, polydipsia and frequent urination. This paper describes three individual cases, including the case history, clinical signs, examinations, and therapies. All data were obtained by attending veterinarian as well as by dog owners.

Summary

Toxocara canis of dogs and Toxocara vitulorum of cattle and buffalo are nematode parasites that cause serious economic and public health problems all over the world. This study aims to provide molecular data to identify and distinguish between Toxocara spp. from dogs, cattle and buffalo in Egypt. Moreover, constructing a phylogeny and phylogenetic relationships among these Toxocara spp. were performed through an analytic study of ATPase-6, a mitochondrial gene; 12S, small subunit ribosomal RNA gene and ITS-2, the second internal transcribed spacer nuclear ribosomal gene. T. vitulorum from cattle and buffalo were found to be almost identical. The ATPase- 6 and 12S regions showed 87.78 % and 90.38 % nucleotide similarity between T. canis and T. vitulorum, while for the ITS-2 region, only 78.38 % was found. Analysis of the three studied genes revealed that each Toxocara spp. has distinct molecular characteristics. Moreover, it was revealed that these genes, especially the ITS-2 gene, are useful and sensitive molecular markers for classifying and studying the phylogenetic analysis and relationships among closely related Toxocara spp. All sequences obtained in this study were registered in the GenBank under the accession numbers: MG214149 -MG214157.

Summary

The mouse bile duct tapeworm Hymenolepis microstoma, is a potentially zoonotic species with a wide variety of reported definitive hosts of rodent genera. In the present study the occurrence of H. microstoma in free-living small mammals in selected areas of Slovakia and the retrospective analysis of epidemiological data published in Slovakia were performed. Hymenolepis microstoma was detected in two animal species, the common shrew (Sorex araneus) and the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) of 186 small mammals examined from two ecosystems, urban and natural ecosystem of national park. No mention about the presence of this parasite in Slovakia in the past was found following a bibliographical search. Partial sequences of the nuclear paramyosin gene showed the shrew isolate placed in a subclade together with H. microstoma from Portugal, with high bootstrap value for its differentiation from the sister species Hymenolepis nana. Similarly, the analysis of the nuclear ribosomal ITS region placed the hamster isolate in the cluster composed of H. microstoma from Australia, Spain and Portugal. The Slovak isolate was the most distinctive sample among available H. microstoma, differing in 1.4 – 1.9% of nucleotides from the remaining isolates. The difference (seven of 17 nucleotide positions) was partially due to indel polymorphisms associated with two and five nucleotides. To our knowledge, these are the first reports of H. microstoma in Central Europe and also the first record of infection in the common shrew. A recently indicated zoonotic potential of H. microstoma along with a possibility of its direct transmission between animals and/or humans without the need of intermediate hosts pose a public health concern in contaminated areas of Slovakia. The use of molecular techniques may substantially facilitate more thorough understanding of the epidemiological situation of H. microstoma and related tapeworms in various ecosystems of the country.

Summary

The aim of this study was to investigate whether Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISA) and Western Blotting (WB) methods could contribute to the assessment of clinical outcomes in genotype-defined cystic echinococcosis (CE) patients. Twenty-nine human isolates and blood samples have been taken from patients who underwent surgery or percutaneous aspiration (PAIR) for therapeutic purposes at Ege University and Manisa Celal Bayar University Hospitals. All sera of patients were screened for the presence of E. granulosus IgG antibodies using in-house approved ELISA and WB methods. According to the ELISA results, five patients had high, thirteen patients had medium and eight patients had low specific antibody level response which ranged 1/640 -1/5000. Despite confirmed WB positivity three patients were found to be negative by ELISA. Immunoblot analysis of EgAg showed many protein bands with size of 8, 12, 20, 22, 24, 36, 75 and 90 kDa. Among of them, 8 – 12 kDa bands (90 %), 20 – 22 kDa and 36 kDa bands presented strong reactivity against human serum specimens. No serum samples from healthy control reacted with EgAg. Phylogenetic analysis of resulting COX1 and NAD1sequences has revealed that all patients in our study were infected with the E. granulosus G1-G3 genotype. There was no consistent correlation between results of ELISA and WB, the number or size of cysts and genotype. Our study brings a unique contribution in terms of relationship between serological investigation, disease genotypes and clinical outcomes.

Summary

The present work was designed to evaluate the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites and some vector-borne pathogens in dogs in Bulgaria. A total of 172 owned dogs, keeping outside, were included in the study. Fecal samples were examined using standard flotation and sedimentation methods. Blood samples were processed by Knott’s technique, SNAP™ 4Dx Plus Test (IDEXX) and Angio Detect™ Test (IDEXX). The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites was 64.5%. Eggs of hookworms (Ancylostoma sp. and Uncinaria sp.) were the most frequently detected (54.1%), followed by Trichuris vulpis (15.1%), Capillaria sp. (11.0%), Toxocara canis (6.4%), Cystoisospora sp. (4.1%), Sarcocystis sp. (2.3%), Toxascaris leonina (1.7%), Taenia sp. (1.2%) and Linguatula serrata (0.6%). In addition, hookworms were the most commonly involved in the cases of single infection (20.3%). Combinations between Capillaria sp./hookworms and T. vulpis/hookworms were the most common co-infections (4.1% and 2.9%, respectively). Blood samples revealed the presence of antibodies against Ehrlichia sp. (13.4%), Anaplasma sp. (13.4%) and Borrelia burgdorferi (1.7%). Antigens of Dirofilaria immitis and Angiostrongylus vasorum were detected in 10.5% and 0.6% of the samples tested, respectively. Microfilariae of Dirofilaria repens were found in 5.8% of the blood samples. Additionally, the prevalence of D. immitis and Ehrlichia sp. was significantly higher in adult than in young dogs (p<0.05). In contrast, the gender was not considered as a risk factor contributing to the occurrence of infections.