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Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports. 2018 Aug;13:148-155. doi: 10.1016/j.vprsr.2018.05.005. Epub 2018 Jun 5.

Dracunculus infections in domestic dogs and cats in North America; an under-recognized parasite?

Author information

1
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA; Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: briannaw@uga.edu.
2
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA; Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: ccleve@uga.edu.
3
Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602, USA. Electronic address: gverocai@uga.edu.
4
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: liandrie.swanepoel25@uga.edu.
5
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: kevindn@uga.edu.
6
Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602, USA. Electronic address: kelsey.paras@uga.edu.
7
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA. Electronic address: yokon@okstate.edu.
8
Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA. Electronic address: susan.little@okstate.edu.
9
Department of Basic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, MS 39762, USA.. Electronic address: stokes@cvm.msstate.edu.
10
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA; Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph and Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada. Electronic address: nnemeth@uoguelph.ca.
11
College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tennessee, 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37966, USA. Electronic address: hwyrosdi@utk.edu.
12
Rollins Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, North Carolina Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory System, 2101 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27607, USA. Electronic address: alison.tucker@ncagr.gov.
13
Beckley Veterinary Hospital, Beckley, WV 25801, USA. Electronic address: info@uvh.ca.
14
Uxbridge Veterinary Hospital, Uxbridge, Ontario L9P 1M9, Canada. Electronic address: info@uvh.ca.
15
Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, 1971 Commonwealth Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA. Electronic address: prout005@umn.edu.
16
Guilford Veterinary Hospital, 81 Saw Mill Road, Guilford, CT 06437, USA. Electronic address: drdeangelo@guilfordvet.com.
17
Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1920 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Electronic address: marsh.2061@osu.edu.
18
Lakeland Veterinary Hospital, 7372 Woida Road, Baxter, MN 56425, USA. Electronic address: lakelandvet.deb@gmail.com.
19
Thomasville Veterinary Hospital, 724 National Hwy, Thomasville, NC 27360, USA. Electronic address: thomasvillevet@northstate.net.
20
T.B. Rescue Resources and Transport, Lafayette, IN 47909, USA. Electronic address: TBRescueResourcesTransport@gmail.com.
21
Brinker Veterinary Hospital, 975 S Rd, Lake Orion, Lapeer, MI 48362, USA. Electronic address: Cyndyz36@hotmail.com.
22
Independet, Pittsboro, NC 27312, USA. Electronic address: jeremi.clark@gmail.com.
23
First Flight Mobile Veterinary Services, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949, USA. Electronic address: firstflightvet@gmail.com.
24
Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Laboratory, Texas A&M, College Station, TX 77841, USA. Electronic address: mindy.borst@tvmdl.tamu.edu.
25
Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Laboratory, Texas A&M, College Station, TX 77841, USA. Electronic address: thomas.craig@tvmdl.tamu.edu.
26
South Haven Animal Hospital, South Haven, MI 49090, USA. Electronic address: jaydee325@yahoo.com.
27
Bryson Veterinary Clinic, 11146 US Highway 231, Wetumpka, AL 36092, USA. Electronic address: brysonveterinaryclinic@gmail.com.
28
Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, South University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address: baird4@purdue.edu.
29
Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine West Lafayette, Purdue University, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address: katlohr@purdue.edu.
30
Department of Comparative Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine West Lafayette, Purdue University, IN 47907, USA. Electronic address: jcamp@purdue.edu.
31
Tri-County Veterinary Clinic, Russiaville, IN 46979, USA. Electronic address: tri_countyvetclinic@yahoo.com.
32
Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA. Electronic address: cpulaski@vetmail.lsu.edu.
33
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Health Building, 589 D.W. Brooks Dr., Athens, GA 30602, USA; Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA. Electronic address: myabsley@uga.edu.

Abstract

We reviewed 62 new cases and 18 published reports of Dracunculus infections in domestic dogs and cats to describe the epidemiology of this parasite in dogs and cats in North America. We collected host and parasite data when available, including age, sex, and breed of dog, nematode location in the host, and any clinical signs at presentation and/or description of the apparent lesion. For dogs, infections were noted in six of the AKC breed groups, but none was reported from the toy group or the miscellaneous breed class. Age of infected dogs ranged from 7 months to 19 years (median 4 years; average 5.3 years), and infection rates were similar in male and female dogs. Most nematodes were associated with the distal extremities, but worms were also found in the chest/thorax, abdomen, head, and flank. Although most infected dogs had a single worm, three dogs had two or more worms that were collected from multiple lesions. Three new cat cases, with similar lesions, presentations and seasonality, were detected in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas. Cases were reported from a wide geographic range throughout eastern North America, during every month of the year, but 72% of infections were diagnosed in the late winter to early spring (December to May). All collected worms were larvigerous females which cannot be identified to species based on morphologic characters. Thus, we attempted to amplify and sequence a portion of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene for specific identification. Although 13 worms from 12 cases were available, sequences were obtained for only eight worms from seven cases. These eight worms were D. insignis, a common parasite of raccoons (Procyon lotor) and other primarily carnivorous mammals. Female worms are the most likely to be detected in dogs and cats because male worms do not emerge, parasites should be preserved in ethanol for molecular identification. Although this study used convenience sampling of available data, we found that the parasite is widespread throughout the eastern US and Canada and that Dracunculus infections in dogs are more common than is revealed in published literature. However, more research is needed to understand the epidemiology, including transmission route(s), prevalence, and distribution of this parasite.

KEYWORDS:

Copepod; Domestic cat; Domestic dog; Dracunculus; Guinea worm; Nematode; Subcutaneous parasite

PMID:
31014864
DOI:
10.1016/j.vprsr.2018.05.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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