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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009 Dec;9(6):655-61. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2008.0127.

Detection of Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato in dogs in the Czech Republic.

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National Institute of Public Health, National Reference Laboratory for Lyme Borreliosis, Prague, Czech Republic.


The aim of this study is to present molecular, serologic, and clinical findings for dogs that were naturally infected with Anaplasma phagocytophilum or Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (s. l.) in the Czech Republic. This data can provide information relevant to human infection. In total, blood samples from 296 dogs and 118 engorged ticks were examined. Samples were tested for A. phagocytophilum using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, nested PCR, and direct sequencing of the 16S rDNA, and for B. burgdorferi s. l. using PCR amplification of the 16S rDNA and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis of the 5S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer. In addition, blood samples were screened for antibodies to these bacteria. Ten (3.4%) dogs were PCR-positive for A. phagocytophilum. Morulae of A. phagocytophilum in granulocytes were found in two of these dogs. Nine of the PCR-positive dogs had clinical signs related to anaplasmosis. Statistically significant differences in the PCR detection rates were found between breeds and between symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs. Infection with Borrelia garinii was detected by PCR in a dog with meningoencephalitis. DNA of A. phagocytophilum and B. burgdorferi s. l. (B. garinii or Borrelia afzelii) was detected in 8.5% and 6.8% of ticks, respectively. Immunoglobulin (Ig) G seropositivity to A. phagocytophilum was 26%. Significant differences were found with respect to breed and gender. IgM and IgG antibodies to B. burgdorferi s. l. were detected in 2.4% and 10.3% of dogs, respectively. Our findings suggest that the exposure to B. burgdorferi s. l. exists in dogs in the Czech Republic, and exposure to A. phagocytophilum is common.

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