Rohrdorf, Germany
Rohrdorf, Germany

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Capari B.,Varoldal ut. 5 | Hamel D.,Merial GmbH | Visser M.,Merial GmbH | Winter R.,Merial GmbH | And 2 more authors.
Veterinary Parasitology | Year: 2013

During 2011, faeces from 235 owned domestic cats from a rural area in western Hungary were examined using standard coproscopical techniques. The overall prevalence of cats with endoparasites was 39.6% (95% CI 33.3-46.1). The most frequently identified faecal forms were those of ascarids (Toxocara, 17.4%; Toxascaris 7.2%), followed by those of Aelurostrongylus lungworms (14.5%), hookworms (11.1%), taeniid cestodes (4.7%), Cystoisospora coccidians (4.3%), and capillarids (3.8%). Single and multiple infections with up to five parasites concurrently were founded in 24.7% and 14.9% of the cats, respectively. Mixed endoparasite infections were recorded more frequently (p=0.0245) in cats greater than one year old compared to younger cats. Young cats (≤1 year) were parasitized more frequently (p<0.05) with ascarids and Cystoisospora spp. but demonstrated infections of hookworms, lungworms and taeniid cestodes less often than the older cats. Cats with taeniid infection were more likely (p<0.05) to harbour Toxocara, hookworm, Aelurostrongylus, and capillarid infections than cats without taeniid cestodes. Cats of owners who claimed the use of wormers were less frequently helminth-positive compared to cats whose owners did not use anthelmintics (21.2% vs. 44.4%; p=0.001).A subset of 115 faecal samples screened by a coproantigen ELISA revealed Giardia-specific antigen in 37.4% samples. Giardia cysts were found by immunofluorescent staining in 30 of the 43 samples tested positive for Giardia by ELISA.In addition, ectoparasites collected from 82 cats by body search and combing were identified. Fleas (1-30 per cat), biting lice (Felicola subrostratus), and ticks (1-5 per cat) were isolated from 58, 1 and 43 cats, respectively. Ctenocephalides felis was identified on all flea infested cats while single specimens of C. canis and Pulex irritans were recovered from three and two cats, respectively. All but one tick collected were adult Ixodes ricinus; the single other tick was a nymph of I. canisuga.By providing basic data on the epidemiology of parasitic infections, the results of this survey should emphasize the need of attending to parasites of cats from the veterinary point of view with respect to both appropriate diagnostics and control. © 2012 Elsevier B.V..


Giannelli A.,University of Bari | Colella V.,University of Bari | Abramo F.,University of Pisa | do Nascimento Ramos R.A.,University of Bari | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

Background: Gastropod-borne parasites may cause debilitating clinical conditions in animals and humans following the consumption of infected intermediate or paratenic hosts. However, the ingestion of fresh vegetables contaminated by snail mucus and/or water has also been proposed as a source of the infection for some zoonotic metastrongyloids (e.g., Angiostrongylus cantonensis). In the meantime, the feline lungworms Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior are increasingly spreading among cat populations, along with their gastropod intermediate hosts. The aim of this study was to assess the potential of alternative transmission pathways for A. abstrusus and T. brevior L3 via the mucus of infected Helix aspersa snails and the water where gastropods died. In addition, the histological examination of snail specimens provided information on the larval localization and inflammatory reactions in the intermediate host. Methodology/Principal Findings: Twenty-four specimens of H. aspersa received ~500 L1 of A. abstrusus and T. brevior, and were assigned to six study groups. Snails were subjected to different mechanical and chemical stimuli throughout 20 days in order to elicit the production of mucus. At the end of the study, gastropods were submerged in tap water and the sediment was observed for lungworm larvae for three consecutive days. Finally, snails were artificially digested and recovered larvae were counted and morphologically and molecularly identified. The anatomical localization of A. abstrusus and T. brevior larvae within snail tissues was investigated by histology. L3 were detected in the snail mucus (i.e., 37 A. abstrusus and 19 T. brevior) and in the sediment of submerged specimens (172 A. abstrusus and 39 T. brevior). Following the artificial digestion of H. aspersa snails, a mean number of 127.8 A. abstrusus and 60.3 T. brevior larvae were recovered. The number of snail sections positive for A. abstrusus was higher than those for T. brevior. Conclusions: Results of this study indicate that A. abstrusus and T. brevior infective L3 are shed in the mucus of H. aspersa or in water where infected gastropods had died submerged. Both elimination pathways may represent alternative route(s) of environmental contamination and source of the infection for these nematodes under field conditions and may significantly affect the epidemiology of feline lungworms. Considering that snails may act as intermediate hosts for other metastrongyloid species, the environmental contamination by mucus-released larvae is discussed in a broader context. © 2015 Giannelli et al.


Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH | Kellermann M.,Merial GmbH | Wehner T.A.,Merial Limited
Parasitology Research | Year: 2014

Pharmacokinetics and anthelmintic activity of topical eprinomectin in goats prevented from physical contact to others and self-grooming were studied. Sixteen approximately 7 months old male castrated German White Noble goats harbouring induced infections of gastrointestinal nematode parasites were included in the study. They were blocked based on pre-treatment body weight (range 22.4 to 36.4 kg) and then randomly allocated to the untreated control group or the group treated with topical 0.5 % w/v eprinomectin (EPRINEX® Pour-on, Merial) at 1 mg/kg body weight. Plasma samples were collected prior to and at intervals up to 14 days following treatment and analyzed to determine the concentrations of eprinomectin (B1a component). Parasites were recovered, identified, and counted following necropsy 14 days after treatment. Goats treated with topical eprinomectin had significantly fewer (≥99 % reduction, p < 0.01) adult Cooperia curticei, Haemonchus contortus, Nematodirus battus, Oesophagostomum venulosum, Ostertagia circumcincta, and Trichostrongylus colubriformis than the untreated controls. Basic pharmacokinetic parameters for eprinomectin B1a were AUCinfinity, 37.1 ± 15.2 day ng/mL; T½, 5.11 ± 2.83 days; and Cmax, 5.93 ± 1.87 ng/mL; individual maximal concentrations were observed 1 or 2 days after treatment. Results of this study indicate that oral ingestion is not required to achieve adequate exposure for excellent anthelmintic efficacy following topical administration of eprinomectin at 1 mg/kg body weight to goats. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH | Visser M.,Merial GmbH | Kellermann M.,Merial GmbH | Letendre L.,Merial Limited
Parasitology Research | Year: 2012

A study was conducted to confirm the efficacy of topical eprinomectin against nematodes and to evaluate the pharmacokinetics in cattle prevented from having physical contact with other cattle and fromself-grooming. Sixteen male Brown Swiss calves were infected with larvae of recently isolated nematode parasites. Inoculation was scheduled so that the nematodes were expected to be adults at the time of treatment. Animals were blocked based on pretreatment body weight and randomly allocated to the untreated control group or the group treated with EPRINEX® Pour-On (Merial; 0.5 mg eprinomectin per kilogram body weight). Plasma samples were collected prior to and between 1 and 21 days following treatment and analysed for eprinomectin (B1a component) concentrations. For parasite recovery, identification and counting, animals were humanely euthanized 21 days after treatment. Calves treated with eprinomectin had significantly (p<0.05) fewer (>99 % reduction) adult Dictyocaulus viviparus, Bunostomum phlebotomum, Cooperia oncophora, Cooperia surnabada, Cooperia punctata, Nematodirus helvetianus, Oesophagostomum radiatum, Ostertagia ostertagi, Ostertagia lyrata, and Trichostrongylus axei and inhibited fourth-stage Nematodirus and Ostertagia larvae than the controls. The main pharmacokinetic parameters of eprinomectin B1a were: AUC(inf), 124±24 day ng/mL; T1/2, 5.2±0.9 days; and Cmax, 9.7±2.2 ng/mL. Individual maximal concentrations were observed 3-7 days after treatment. This study confirmed the continued high level of efficacy of topically administered eprinomectin against a wide range of recently isolated nematodes. In addition, this study demonstrates that oral ingestion is not required to achieve adequate exposure for efficacy following topical administration of eprinomectin. © Springer-Verlag 2012.


Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH | Visser M.,Merial GmbH | Jekel I.,Universitatsklinikum Salzburg | Silaghi C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift | Year: 2014

Although the annual harvest of fallow deer increased markedly in Austria in the past two decades, only little is known about the parasites of fallow deer in Austria. To add current faunistic knowledge on the endoparasites of fallow deer in the country, viscera from six adult males and one male fawn from the game preserve Antheringer Au, Salzburg, were examined in 2009-2010 using standard techniques, and spleen samples were screened for DNA of tick-borne pathogens (polymerase chain reaction). Infections with sarcocysts (Sarcocystis spp.) and gastrointestinal nematodes (range: 379-1,294 worms) were demonstrated in all deer; four and three bucks had Dictyocaulus eckerti (range: two to seven worms) and Varestrongylus sagittatus lungworms, respectively; Fasciola hepatica (9 and 18 flukes) were isolated from the liver of two bucks, and DNA of Babesia capreoli was isolated from the spleen of one buck. In addition, Eimeria sordida oocysts were identified in the faeces of the fawn that harboured also one Setaria sp., presumably Setaria altaica, in its mesentery. Fifteen species (morphs for the ostertagians) of gastrointestinal nematodes were identified: Ostertagia leptospicularis, Ostertagia drozdzi/Skrjabinagia ryjikovi, Spiculopteragia asymmetrica, Spiculopteragia boehmi/Rinadia mathevossiani, Trichostrongylus askivali, Trichostrongylus capricola, Cooperia pectinata, Nematodirus battus, Nematodirus roscidus, Capillaria bovis, Oesophagostomum sikae, Oesophagostomum venulosum and Trichuris globulosa. Two and four bucks had high individual burdens of more than 500 and more than 1,000 worms, respectively. As the nematode counts of the five bucks harvested during the mating season were associated with unusual high faecal egg counts, and four of the bucks had Dictyocaulus lungworms in addition, these findings may suggest a reduced resistance to parasites related with high levels of androgens and experience of stress during rut. © Springer-Verlag 2014.


Silaghi C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Knaus M.,Merial GmbH | Rapti D.,Agricultural University of Tirana | Shukullari E.,Agricultural University of Tirana | And 2 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2012

Fleas can serve as vectors for bacterial pathogens like Bartonella and Rickettsia species, which have been isolated worldwide. However, the knowledge of the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases in general and thus on flea-borne diseases in Albania is limited. Therefore, from 78 free-roaming cats in Tirana, Albania, fleas (371 Ctenocephalides felis and 5 Ctenocephalides canis) were collected to examine them for the presence of Rickettsia and Bartonella species. Ten of the 371 C. felis (2.7%) were positive for Rickettsia felis, and 24 (6.5%) for Bartonella spp. (B. henselae and B. clarridgeiae). In total, fleas from 15 cats (19.2%) were positive for either one or the other of the pathogens. The results of this study provided evidence for the presence of R. felis (causing flea-borne spotted fever) and Bartonella spp. (causing cat scratch disease) in Albania. Thus, these infectious diseases should be considered as differential diagnoses when febrile symptoms are presented, especially after contact with cats or their fleas. © 2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Silaghi C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Hamel D.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Thiel C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Pfister K.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 2 more authors.
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases | Year: 2011

The occurrence of genetic variants of Anaplasma phagocytophilum was studied in wild ungulates from the northern and central eastern Alps in Tyrol, Austria. For this purpose, spleen samples collected from 53 game animals during the hunting season 2008/2009 (16 roe deer [Capreolus capreolus], 10 red deer [Cervus elaphus], 16 Alpine chamois [Rupicapra r. rupicapra], 7 Alpine ibex [Capra i. ibex], and 4 European mouflons [Ovis orientalis musimon]) were analyzed. Thirty-five animals originated from the Karwendel mountains, 12 from the Kaunertal area (Otztal Alps), and the remaining from other mountainous areas in Tyrol. DNA extracts were screened with a real-time polymerase chain reaction targeting the msp2 gene of A. phagocytophilum. A total of 23 (43.4%) samples, from all ungulate species studied, were A. phagocytophilum positive. As of the date of this article, A. phagocytophilum has not been reported in the Alpine ibex. The positive samples were investigated further with polymerase chain reactions for amplification of the partial 16S rRNA, groEL, and msp4 genes. Sequence analysis using forward and reverse primers revealed seven different 16S rRNA gene variants. No variant could be attributed to any particular ungulate species. The groEL gene revealed 11 different variants, which grouped in the phylogenetic analysis into two distinct clusters: one cluster contained the sequences from roe deer, whereas the sequences of the other species formed the second cluster. The msp4 gene showed a high degree of variability in the amplified part with a total of 10 different sequence types. The results show that the wild mountain ungulates were infected to a considerable extent with various variants of A. phagocytophilum. The pathogenicity of the variants and the reservoir competence of the species investigated in this study deserve further attention in future studies. © 2011, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.


Silaghi C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Knaus M.,Merial GmbH | Rapti D.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Kusi I.,Universiteti Bujqesor | And 4 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2014

Background: Albania is a country on the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. The Mediterranean climate is favourable for the stable development of many arthropod species, which are incriminated as vectors for various agents. Recently, several papers have reported on epidemiological aspects of parasitic diseases including vector-borne disease agents of dogs with zoonotic characteristics in Albania. However, data on the epidemiology of feline parasitic and bacterial agents in Albania is scarce. Methods. Serum and EDTA-blood samples collected from 146 domestic cats from Tirana during 2008 through 2010 were examined for exposure to Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Leishmania infantum, and Anaplasma spp. with IFAT, for infection with L. infantum, A. phagocytophilum, Bartonella spp. and haemotropic mycoplasmas with conventional PCR and real-time PCR and for Dirofilaria immitis with antigen ELISA. Additionally blood smear microscopy was carried out for detection of blood-borne pathogens. Results: Antibodies to T. gondii (titre ≥1:100) were demonstrated in 91 cats (62.3%). Antibodies to N. caninum (titre ≥1:100), L. infantum (titre ≥1:64) and Anaplasma spp. (titre ≥1:100) were found in the serum of 15 (10.3%), 1 (0.7%) or 3 (2.1%) cats, respectively. DNA of haemotropic mycoplasmas was detected in the blood of 45 cats (30.8%), namely Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum (21.9%), Mycoplasma haemofelis (10.3%), and Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis (5.5%), with ten cats harbouring co-infections of two mycoplasmas each; blood from one cat was PCR positive for Bartonella henselae. No DNA of Leishmania spp. and A. phagocytophilum or circulating D. immitis antigen was detected in any cat sample. The overall prevalence of haemotropic mycoplasmas was significantly higher in male compared to female cats (40.6% vs. 24.1%, p = 0.0444); and age was associated positively with the prevalence of antibodies to T. gondii (p = 0.0008) and the percentage of haemotropic mycoplasma infection (p = 0.0454). Conclusions: With the broad screening panel including direct and indirect methods applied in the present study, a wide spectrum of exposure to or infection with parasitic or bacterial agents was detected. © 2014 Silaghi et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Rapti D.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH
Parasitology Research | Year: 2010

Blood samples from 260 dogs over 1 year of age from eight districts of the western part of Albania (20 to 50 dogs per district) were collected in 1995 and 1996 and tested for circulating Dirofilaria immitis antigen using the PetChek® HTWM PF (IDEXX) ELISA test kit. Overall seroprevalence of D. immitis infection among these dogs was 13.5% (95% confidence interval=9.3-17.6%), ranging from 5% to 30% between the districts of origin of the dogs. There was no difference for the seroprevalence of heartworm infection between the sexes and age classes or between pure and mixed breed dogs; however, D. immitis seroprevalence was significantly (p<0.0001) higher in dogs presenting cardiopulmonary signs (83.3%) compared to clinically inconspicuous dogs (10.1%). © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH | Visser M.,Merial GmbH | Winter R.,Merial GmbH
Parasitology Research | Year: 2013

Prevalence and intensity of gastrointestinal parasites were studied through a longitudinal survey in 400 horses over a 17-month period in an abattoir in Germany. Three hundred and ten horses (77.5 %) were demonstrated harbouring endoparasites either by direct recovery of parasites from the digestive tract and/or in terms of faecal egg counts (strongyles). The following parasites were found (percentage prevalence, range of counts): Gasterophilus intestinalis larvae (2.25 %, 1-154), Gasterophilus nasalis larvae (0.25 %, 44), Trichostrongylus axei (11.0 %, 1-3,620), Habronema majus (8.0 %; 1-422), Habronema muscae (26.5 %, 1-3,563), Habronema spp. fourth-stage larvae (5.5 %; 1-1,365), Parascaris equorum (total prevalence 11.3 %; adults 8.8 %, 1-178; fourth-stage larvae 2.5 %, 5-2,320), Anoplocephala perfoliata (28.5 %, 1-2,013) and Paranoplocephala mamillana (1.0 %, 1-11). Strongyle eggs (≥10 eggs per gram of faeces) were recorded in 60.8 % of the horses (10-6,450 eggs per gram of faeces). Prevalences of infection with T. axei, P. equorum and strongyles did not show a correlation to specific seasons. In contrast, a significant variation among seasons of collection was shown for the infection rates of Habronema spp. (p < 0.05) and A. perfoliata (p < 0.001). Seasonal prevalence of Habronema spp. infection was significantly (p < 0.01) higher in summer (39.0 %), autumn (34.8 %) and winter (36.5 %) than in spring (18.7 %), and A. perfoliata were significantly (p < 0.001) more often recorded during autumn (36.1 %) and winter (36.5 %) than in spring (17.3 %) and summer (15.9 %). Prevalences of T. axei, Habronema spp., strongyles and A. perfoliata in male and female horses were almost alike, but ascarids were significantly (p = 0.025) more often recorded in male than in female horses. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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