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Canine vector-borne protozoa: Molecular and serological investigation for Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., Babesia spp., and Hepatozoon spp. in dogs from Northern Algeria

Abstract : Dogs are competent reservoirs/hosts of several protozoan pathogens transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods. Throughout their long history of domestication, they have served as a link for the exchange of parasites among livestock, wildlife, and humans and therefore remain an important source of emerging and re-emerging diseases. In Algeria, while canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is well known to be endemic, no data are available on other vector-borne protozoans. Here, we investigate the occurrence and diversity of trypanosomes, piroplasms and Hepatozoon spp. and update the epidemiological status of CanL in dogs from Kabylia, northern Algeria. A total of 227 dogs from three regions of Kabylia were enrolled, including 77 dogs with clinical signs. Dogs were clinically examined and were tested for L. infantum antibodies using a Rapid Immuno-Migration (RIM™) and a quantitative indirect Immunofluorescence Antibody Test (IFAT). PCR screening and sequencing were performed for vector-borne protozoa. Sixty two percent (141/227) of dogs presented at least one infection, whereas 26% (59/227) were co-infected. L. infantum antibodies were detected in 35.7% (81/227) of dogs including 88.7% (68/77) of sick dogs. Molecular investigation revealed prevalence of: 6.6% (15/227), 13.2% (30/227), 41% (93/227) for Trypanosoma spp., B. vogeli and H. canis, respectively. T. evansi (3.1%) and potential new subspecies of T. congolense had been identified. Dog''s clinical status correlates positively with L. infantum antibody titers and the presence of co-infections. Susceptibility to CanL varied according to the dog's aptitude and guard dogs were more infected (51%) (P-value = .001). B. vogeli infection was more frequent in juveniles than adults (32% vs 9%, P-value < .001) and in females than males (21% vs 10%, P-value = .02). To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report on vector-borne protozoa infected dogs in Algeria. Current results are important not only for animal health, but also to avoid serious public health and livestock problems.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 17, 2020 - 11:25:56 AM
Last modification on : Monday, May 25, 2020 - 4:32:12 PM

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Hacene Medkour, Younes Laidoudi, Ismail Lafri, Bernard Davoust, Abdeslam Mekroud, et al.. Canine vector-borne protozoa: Molecular and serological investigation for Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., Babesia spp., and Hepatozoon spp. in dogs from Northern Algeria. Veterinary Parasitology : Regional Studies and Reports, Elsevier, 2020, 19, pp.100353. ⟨10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100353⟩. ⟨hal-02481071⟩

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