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Ludwigsburg, Germany

Schnyder M.,University of Zurich | Schaper R.,Bayer Animal Health GmbH | Pantchev N.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | Kowalska D.,Bayer Animal Health | And 2 more authors.
Parasitology Research | Year: 2013

Dogs infected with Angiostrongylus vasorum, a potentially lethal parasite living in the heart and pulmonary arteries, may present severe respiratory and neurological sings and coagulopathies. Its occurrence is increasingly reported from various European countries, but little is known about its presence in Poland. In this first large-scale survey, 3,345 sera from polish dogs attending veterinary clinics in different parts of Poland for various reasons were collected and tested by an ELISA for the detection of circulating antigen of A. vasorum and by a separate ELISA detecting specific antibodies. A total of 0.51 % (n = 17, 95% Confidence Intervals, CI: 0.30-0.81 %) of the animals were positive in both ELISAs, while 0.78 % (n = 26, CI: 0.51-1.14 %) of the tested dogs were antigen- positive only and 1.29 % (n = 43, CI: 0.93-1.73 %) were positive for specific antibodies only. Regions with antigen- and antibody- positive animals were overlapping and distributed over the whole area of the country, with approximately one third of positives close to the Baltic Sea, and a limited number of cases close to the German border. These results confirm the occurrence of A. vasorum in dogs originating from different parts of Poland. A. vasorum serology presents significant advantages (diagnosis before patency, single serum sample instead of repeated faecal samples, rapidity and affordability particularly in case of large number of samples), and it can be considered a valid alternative for diagnosis in individuals and in epidemiological studies. Source


More G.,Friedrich Loeffler Institute | More G.,National University of La Plata | More G.,CONICET | Pantchev N.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | And 5 more authors.
Parasitology | Year: 2014

Sarcocystis spp. represent apicomplexan parasites. They usually have a heteroxenous life cycle. Around 200 species have been described, affecting a wide range of animals worldwide, including reptiles. In recent years, large numbers of reptiles have been imported into Europe as pets and, as a consequence, animal welfare and species protection issues emerged. A sample of pooled feces from four confiscated green pythons (Morelia viridis) containing Sarcocystis spp. sporocysts was investigated. These snakes were imported for the pet trade and declared as being captive-bred. Full length 18S rRNA genes were amplified, cloned into plasmids and sequenced. Two different Sarcocystis spp. sequences were identified and registered as Sarcocystis sp. from M. viridis in GenBank. Both showed a 95-97% sequence identity with the 18S rRNA gene of Sarcocystis singaporensis. Phylogenetic analysis positioned these sequences together with other Sarcocystis spp. from snakes and rodents as definitive and intermediate hosts (IH), respectively. Sequence data and also the results of clinical and parasitological examinations suggest that the snakes were definitive hosts for Sarcocystis spp. that circulate in wild IH. Thus, it seems unlikely that the infected snakes had been legally bred. Our research shows that information on the infection of snakes with Sarcocystis spp. may be used to assess compliance with regulations on the trade with wildlife species. © 2014 Cambridge University Press. Source


Huhn C.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Winter C.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Wolfsperger T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Wuppenhorst N.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a Gram-negative obligate intracellular bacterium that replicates in neutrophils. It is transmitted via tick-bite and causes febrile disease in humans and animals. Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is regarded as an emerging infectious disease in North America, Europe and Asia. However, although increasingly detected, it is still rare in Europe. Clinically apparent A. phagocytophilum infections in animals are mainly found in horses, dogs, cats, sheep and cattle. Evidence from cross-infection experiments that A. phagocytophilum isolates of distinct host origin are not uniformly infectious for heterologous hosts has led to several approaches of molecular strain characterization. Unfortunately, the results of these studies are not always easily comparable, because different gene regions and fragment lengths were investigated. Multilocus sequence typing is a widely accepted method for molecular characterization of bacteria. We here provide for the first time a universal typing method that is easily transferable between different laboratories. We validated our approach on an unprecedented large data set of almost 400 A. phagocytophilum strains from humans and animals mostly from Europe. The typability was 74% (284/383). One major clonal complex containing 177 strains was detected. However, 54% (49/90) of the sequence types were not part of a clonal complex indicating that the population structure of A. phagocytophilum is probably semiclonal. All strains from humans, dogs and horses from Europe belonged to the same clonal complex. As canine and equine granulocytic anaplasmosis occurs frequently in Europe, human granulocytic anaplasmosis is likely to be underdiagnosed in Europe. Further, wild boars and hedgehogs may serve as reservoir hosts of the disease in humans and domestic animals in Europe, because their strains belonged to the same clonal complex. In contrast, as they were only distantly related, roe deer, voles and shrews are unlikely to harbor A. phagocytophilum strains infectious for humans, domestic or farm animals. © 2014 Huhn et al. Source


Dyachenko V.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Pantchev N.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | Balzer H.-J.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | Meyersen A.,Small Animal Clinic | Straubinger R.K.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2012

Background: It is known that Anaplasma (A.) platys, the causative agent of infectious canine cyclic thrombocytopenia, is endemic in countries of the Mediterranean basin. However, few reports are available from the Balkans. This case report describes a dog, which was imported from Croatia to Germany in May 2010. One month later the dog was presented to a local veterinarian in Germany due to intermittent/recurrent diarrhoea. Diagnostic tests were performed to identify infections caused by Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Hepatozoon canis, Babesia spp., Leishmania spp., Borrelia burgdorferi and/or Dirofilaria immitis. Findings. Haematological examination of a blood smear revealed basophilic inclusions in thrombocytes, which were confirmed as A. platys with a species-specific real-time PCR. Additionally, an infection with Babesia (B.) vogeli was also detected (PCR and serology). No specific antibodies against Anaplasma antigen were detectable. Although the dog showed no specific clinical signs, thrombocytopenia, anaemia and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) were observed. Sequencing of a 1,348-bp partial ribosomal RNA gene revealed highest homology to A. platys sequences from Thailand, Japan and France. Conclusions: A. platys was detected for first time in a dog imported from Croatia. As the dog was also co-infected by B. vogeli, unique serological and haematological findings were recorded. Thrombocytopenia, anaemia and elevated values of C-reactive protein were the laboratory test abnormalities observed in this case. A. platys infections should be considered in dogs coming from Croatia and adjacent regions. © 2012 Dyachenko et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Sotiriadou I.,University of Cologne | Pantchev N.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | Gassmann D.,IDEXX Vet Med Laboratory | Karanis P.,University of Cologne
Parasite | Year: 2013

The aim of the present study was to diagnose the presence of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in household animals using nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequence analysis. One hundred faecal samples obtained from 81 dogs and 19 cats were investigated. The Cryptosporidium genotypes were determined by sequencing a fragment of the small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene, while the Giardia Assemblages were determined through analysis of the glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) locus. Isolates from five dogs and two cats were positive by PCR for the presence of Giardia, and their sequences matched the zoonotic Assemblage A of Giardia. Cryptosporidium spp. isolated from one dog and one cat were both found to be C. parvum. One dog isolate harboured a mixed infection of C. parvum and Giardia Assemblage A. These findings support the growing evidence that household animals are potential reservoirs of the zoonotic pathogens Giardia spp. and Cryptosporidium spp. for infections in humans. © 2013 I. Sotiriadou et al., published by EDP Sciences. Source

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