Canine and Feline Thelaziosis Caused by Thelazia Callipaeda in Serbia

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Abstract

Thelazia callipaeda is a parasitic nematode causing ocular infections in different mammalian species and humans, clinically manifested as lacrimation, conjunctivitis, keratitis, corneal opacity or corneal ulcer. In this paper, we reported six cases of autochthonous canine and feline thelaziosis on different localities in Serbia. Total of 285 parasites (85 males and 200 females) were collected from the eyes of infected animals (n=6) suffering from uni- or bilateral conjunctivitis, with the number of parasites ranging from 7 to 150 per animal. All parasites were morphologically identified as T. callipaeda, while molecular analyses of cytochrome oxidase 1 (cox1) gene revealed the presence of h1 haplotype, as the unique previously reported in other studies in Europe. Since T. callipaeda is a newly detected parasite in Serbia with the infective potential for humans, there is a necessity for animal owners education and cooperation among professional services in order to control this zoonosis.

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