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Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2012 Dec;12(12):1023-30. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2011.0864. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Seroprevalence of tick-borne infections in military working dogs in the Republic of Korea.

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Medicine, University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine , University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.


In this study we endeavored to determine the seroprevalence of tick-borne infections in the military working dog (MWD) population in the Republic of Korea (ROK). Our sample population consisted of 182 serum samples from MWDs for 3 different years (1996, 2002, and 2007). In addition, 63 whole blood samples from 2007 were available for polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Serum samples were evaluated by a commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for Ehrlichia canis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, and by ELISA only for Borrelia burgdorferi. PCR amplification of DNA was performed to screen for Ehrlichia canis, E. chaffeensis, E. ewingii, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, A. platys, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Rickettsia rickettsii, as well as Babesia and Theileria species using previously published primers and probes. A total of 56 (30.8%) MWDs were positive by at least one serologic test. Seroprevalences for Anaplasma and Ehrlichia were 4.4% and 0.6% based on the ELISA, and 24.7% and 22.5% based on the IFA, respectively. ELISA testing for Borrelia yielded 2 (1.1%) positive results. In parallel testing using both the ELISA and IFA tests, the percentages of dogs with one or more positive results were 34.1%, 25.9%, and 28.4%, for 1996, 2002, and 2007, respectively. There was no significant differences in seroprevalence based on location, year, breed, or sex of the MWD. There was poor agreement between IFA and ELISA test results. No MWD sample had a positive PCR result. MWDs stationed in Korea had serologic evidence of exposure to several tick-borne pathogens, but PCR testing did not identify any active infections.

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