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Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2012 Dec;3(5-6):315-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ttbdis.2012.10.026. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Prevalence of antibodies against Rickettsia conorii, Babesia canis, Ehrlichia canis, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum antigens in dogs from the Stretto di Messina area (Italy).

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Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica Veterinaria, Facoltà di Medicina Veterinaria, Università di Messina, Italy.


The aims of this study were to determine the seroprevalence for Rickettsia conorii, Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and Babesia canis in outdoor-kennelled dogs (n=249) from the Stretto di Messina (Italy) and to compare seroprevalence in 2 public shelters and 4 privately-owned kennels where different tick-preventive measures were implemented in order to focus on the specific sanitary risk posed by public shelters in southern Italy for tick-borne pathogens. R. conorii (72%) and B. canis (70%) were the most prevalent infections when compared to E. canis (46%) and A. phagocytophilum (38%). Seroprevalence for R. conorii, E. canis, and A. phagocytophilum was significantly higher in public shelters than in private kennels. However, B. canis seropositivity was similar in both types of kennels. In addition, in private kennels where a regular ectocide treatment was carried out by means of spot-on devices, dogs did not present E. canis and A. phagocytophilum antibodies. One hundred fifty-one dogs out of 249 (61%) were seropositive to more than one pathogen with R. conorii and B. canis the most common ones. Coinfections were more frequently found in public-shelter dogs. This study demonstrated high seroprevalences against R. conorii, B. canis, E. canis, and A. phagocytophilum in kennelled dogs from both coastal sites of the Stretto di Messina and the importance of regular tick-bite prevention by means of individual spot-on devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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