Survey of spatial distribution of vector-borne disease in neighborhood dogs in southern Brazil
Neighborhood dogs may act as reservoirs and disseminators of vector-borne diseases in urban areas. Accordingly, the aim of this study was to ascertain the health status and the vector-borne pathogens infecting dogs living in public areas with high levels of human movement in the city of Curitiba, southern Brazil. Blood samples from 21 neighborhood dogs that were found in nine of 22 bus stations and two public parks were subjected to a complete blood cell (CBC) count, serum biochemical profiling, a commercial rapid ELISA test and a commercial real-time PCR panel of vector-borne diseases. The CBC count and serum biochemical profiling were within the normal range for dogs and only 1/21 (4.7%) of the dogs was seroreactive for Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto. The commercial real-time PCR panel showed that 7/21 (33.3%) of the dogs had Mycoplasma haemocanis infection, 9/21 (42.8%) had ‘Candidatus Mycoplasma haematoparvum’ and 4/21 (19.0%) had both. No statistical association between infected by the agents found here and abnormalities in physical examinations, laboratory tests or ectoparasite presence was found (p > 0.05). In conclusion, neighborhood dogs showed low prevalence of vector-borne diseases and satisfactory wellbeing, and dogs can be used as sentinels for disease exposure.
Keywords: Borrelia burgdorferi, Community dogs, Hemoplasmas, Sentinel animals, Tick-borne diseases