Tirana, Albania
Tirana, Albania

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PubMed | Tierarztpraxis Breiltgens, Clinique Veterinaire, Trakia University, University of Bari and 12 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2016

Afoxolaner (AFX) plus milbemycin oxime (MO) combination chewable tablets (NexGard Spectra, Merial) were evaluated for safety and efficacy against naturally acquired nematode infections in domestic dogs in a multi-centre, positive control, blinded field study using a randomized block design based on the order of presentation for allocation. In total, 408 dogs confirmed positive for naturally acquired infections of intestinal nematodes by pre-treatment faecal examination were studied in ten countries in Europe (Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania and Slovakia). Pre-treatment faecal examination revealed Toxocara, Toxascaris, hookworm, Trichuris and/or Capillaria nematode infections in 134, 30, 223, 155 and 14 dogs, respectively. Dogs were allocated to one of two treatment groups in a ratio of 1, AFX + MO chewables (2.5mg AFX + 0.5mg MO per kg body weight, according to dose bands; 207 dogs), and 1, MO plus praziquantel (PRZ) chewables (Milbemax, Novartis; 0.5mg MO + 5mg PRZ per kg body weight, according to the manufacturers instructions; 201 dogs) and treated once. For evaluation of efficacy based on reduction of faecal nematode egg counts, two faecal samples, one collected prior to treatment and one collected 9 to 21days after treatment, were examined using modified McMaster techniques. For evaluation of systemic safety, dogs were examined by a veterinarian before treatment administration and at study end, and dog owners observed the health status of their dogs until the end of the study and reported any abnormal observation. For dogs treated with AFX + MO chewables, the efficacy was 99.7, 99.7, 97.2, 99.7 and 99.7% for Toxocara, Toxascaris, hookworm, Trichuris and Capillaria, respectively; and the efficacy was 99.5, 99.4, 94.3, 99.9 and 98.0%, respectively, for the MO + PRZ-treated dogs (p0.002 for all nematodes and both treatments). For Toxocara, hookworm and Trichuris, non-inferiority analysis demonstrated that the efficacy of AFX + MO chewable tablets was equal to or better than that of MO + PRZ. In spite that both treatments were 98% efficacious against Toxascaris and Capillaria, a hypothesis of non-inferiority for both genera could not be established due to the low number of dogs infected with these parasites. No treatment-related adverse experiences were observed throughout the study. For both treatments, all dogs were given a systemic safety score of excellent apart from one dog in each treatment group which received a score of acceptable. AFX + MO combination chewables were shown to be safe and demonstrated a high level of efficacy when administered once to dogs infected with a broad range of parasitic nematodes under field conditions.


Xhaxhiu D.,Klinika Veterinare | Kusi I.,Klinika Veterinare | Kusi I.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Rapti D.,Universiteti Bujqesor | And 7 more authors.
Parasitology Research | Year: 2011

From 2004 to 2009, the digestive tracts of 111 dogs from suburban areas around Tirana, Albania, were examined for intestinal helminths. In addition, rectal faecal samples of all dogs were examined for protozoan infections and 48 faecal samples from dogs >6 months of age were processed with the Baermann technique to test for the excretion of lungworm larvae. The heart and pulmonary arteries of 30 dogs >6 months of age also were examined for nematode parasites. The intestinal parasite fauna of the dogs included three protozoan species (Cystoisospora canis, Cystoisospora ohioensis/burrowsi, Sarcocystis spp.), three cestode species (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia hydatigena, Echinococcus granulosus), five nematode species (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala, Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Trichuris vulpis) and one acanthocephalan (Centrorhynchus buteonis). Rates of infection were: 15.3% for C. canis, 31.5% for C. ohioensis/burrowsi, 1.8% for Sarcocystis spp., 65.8% for D. caninum, 16.2% for T. hydatigena, 2.7% for E. granulosus (genotype G1), 13.5% for A. caninum, 64.9% for U. stenocephala, 75.7% for T. canis, 0.9% for T. leonina, 21.6% for T. vulpis and 0.9% for C. buteonis. Up to six species of gastrointestinal parasites were found per dog. The 63 ≤6-month-old dogs harboured significantly (p<0.001) fewer gastrointestinal parasite species concurrently (mean 2.65±1.25 species per animal) than the 48 older animals (mean 3.77±1.45 species per animal). Dogs >6 months of age harboured significantly (p<0.05) more D. caninum, T. hydatigena, A. caninum, U. stenocephala and T. vulpis compared to younger dogs. Conversely, the younger dogs harboured significantly (p<0.001) more T. canis than the older ones. There was no difference in the male and female dogs' counts of individual intestinal helminth species apart from T. hydatigena in dogs >6 months of age: Male dogs harboured significantly (p<0.05) more tapeworms than female dogs. Based on faecal examination, there was no indication for lungworm infection; however, two adult heartworms (Dirofilaria immitis) were found in the right ventricle of one dog. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


PubMed | Merial Inc., stanwood, Merial GmbH, Universiteti Bujqesor and University of Johannesburg
Type: | Journal: Veterinary parasitology | Year: 2016

The efficacy of oral afoxolaner plus milbemycin oxime combination chewable tablets (NexGard Spectra, Merial) against naturally acquired intestinal nematode infections in dogs was evaluated in six negative control, blinded studies including a total of 114 dogs. Dogs were selected based on a pre-treatment fecal examination indicating patent infections with hookworms (two studies), Toxocara or Toxascaris ascarids (one study each) or Trichuris whipworms (two studies). In each study, dogs were assigned to blocks of two animals each, based on decreasing pre-treatment body weight and were randomly allocated to one of two groups consisting of eight, nine or 10 dogs: untreated (control) or treated with the combination chewable tablet formulation. Chewable tablets were combined to provide doses of actives as close as possible to the minimum effective dose of afoxolaner and milbemycin oxime, i.e., 2.5 mg/kg body weight and 0.5 mg/kg body weight, respectively, once on Day 0. For parasite recovery and count, dogs were euthanized humanely and necropsied seven or eight days after treatment. A single treatment with afoxolaner plus milbemycin oxime chewable tablets provided 94.8% and 90.9% efficacy against adult Ancylostoma braziliense and A. caninum, respectively, 97.8% and 99.4% efficacy against adult Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina, respectively, and 98.3% efficacy against adult Trichuris vulpis. Compared to untreated controls, nematode counts of the treated dogs were significantly reduced (F-test; p<0.002). In addition, analysis of the pooled data across studies revealed that treatment with afoxolaner plus milbemycin oxime chewable tablets reduced adult Uncinaria stenocephala burdens by 74.9% (p=0.002). All dogs tolerated the treatment well based on clinical observations post-treatment and daily clinical observations. No adverse experiences or other clinical problems related to the treatment were observed throughout the studies. The results of this series of controlled studies demonstrated high efficacy and excellent acceptability and safety of the afoxolaner plus milbemycin oxime chewable tablets when administered for treatment of a broad range of canine intestinal nematode infections.


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.


PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Universiteti Bujqesor and Merial GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2016

To establish the diversity and seasonality of ectoparasite infestation in client-owned dogs in Albania, 602 dogs visiting four small animal clinics in Tirana from March 2010 to April 2011 inclusive were examined for ectoparasites by full body search and total body comb. In addition, ear swab specimens collected from all dogs and scrapings taken from skin lesions suspicious of mite infestation were examined for parasitic mites. Overall, 93 dogs (15.4%, 95%CI 12.6-18.6) were demonstrated to be infested, and nine species of ectoparasites were identified: Ixodes ricinus, 0.8%; Rhipicephalus sanguineus s. l., 8.1%; Demodex canis, 0.2%; Sarcoptes scabiei, 0.7%; Otodectes cynotis, 2.8%; Ctenocephalides canis, 4.8%; Ctenocephalides felis, 3.0%; Pulex irritans, 0.2%; and Trichodectes canis, 0.2%. Single and multiple infestations with up to four species of ectoparasites concurrently were recorded in 67 (11.1%, 95%CI 8.7-13.9) and 26 dogs (4.3%, 95%CI 2.8-6.3), respectively. On univariate analysis, the category of breed (pure breed dogs vs. mixed-breed dogs), the dogs purpose (pet, hunting dog, working dog), the housing environment (mainly indoors/indoors with regular outside walking vs. yard plus kennel/run), the history of ectoparasiticide treatment and the season of examination were identified as significant (p<0.05) factors predisposing dogs to various ectoparasites, while the variables dogs age, gender, the dogs habitat (city, suburban, rural) and the presence/absence of other pets were not significant predictors. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for factors associated with overall ectoparasitism revealed that dogs treated with ectoparasiticides at least once per year (odds ratio [OR]=0.24; p<0.001) had a significantly lower risk of infestation compared with dogs not treated against ectoparasite infestation. Dogs examined during spring, summer and autumn (OR=7.08, 7.43 and 2.48, respectively; all p<0.001) had a significantly higher risk of infestation than dogs examined during winter. By providing basic data on the infestation with ectoparasites in client-owned, veterinary-cared-for dogs from Albania for the first time, the results of this survey should emphasize the need of an increase of attention to ectoparasites in dogs by both veterinarians and dog owners.


PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Universiteti Bujqesor and Merial GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2015

From March 2010 to April 2011 inclusive, feces from 602 client-owned dogs visiting four small animal clinics in Tirana, Albania, were examined using standard coproscopical techniques including Giardia coproantigen ELISA and immunofluorescent staining of Giardia cysts. Overall, samples of 245 dogs (40.7%, 95% CI 36.6-45.6) tested positive for at least one type of fecal endoparasite (protozoan and/or helminth and/or pentastomid) stage, of which 180 (29.9%, 95% CI 26.3-33.7) and 129 (21.9%, 95% CI 18.2-24.9) tested positive for protozoan or nematode endoparasites, respectively. Fecal forms of at least 14 endoparasites were identified. The most frequently identified stages were those of Giardia (26.4%), Trichuris (9.5%), Toxocara (8.0%), hookworms (7.1%), Cystoisospora ohioensis (4.3%), and Cystoisospora canis (3%). For the first time for dogs in Albania, fecal examination indicated the occurrence of Hammondia/Neospora-like (0.2%), Angiostrongylus lungworm (0.3%), capillariid (2.8%), and Linguatula (0.2%) infections. Single and multiple infections with up to seven parasites concurrently were found in 152 (25.2%, 95% CI 21.8-28.9) and 93 dogs (15.4%, 95% CI 12.7-18.6), respectively. On univariate analysis, the dogs age, the dogs purpose (pet, hunting dog, working dog), the dogs habitat (city, suburban, rural), and environment (mainly indoors, indoors with regular outside walking, yard, kennel/run), presence/absence of other dogs and/or cats, history of anthelmintic use, and season of examination were identified as significant (p<0.05) factors predisposing dogs to various types of endoparasitism while the variables breed (pure breed dogs vs. mixed-breed dogs), gender, and type of food were not significant predictors. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for factors associated with overall endoparasitism revealed that dogs >1year of age (odds ratio [OR]=0.64), dogs dewormed at least once per year (OR=0.35), and dogs tested during spring, summer, and autumn (OR=0.51, 0.15, and 0.20, respectively) had a significantly lower risk compared with 1year old dogs, dogs not dewormed, or dogs tested during winter. The odds of a dog to be diagnosed positive for endoparasites was 1.56 times higher for dogs living together with other pets than that for a dog without other dogs or cats.


PubMed | Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, Universiteti Bujqesor and Merial GmbH
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Parasitology research | Year: 2016

Knowledge on the epidemiology of parasitic and vector-borne infections is still very limited for Albania, a country located in the Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe. Recent publications indicated prevalence rates of up to 52% for vector-borne infections in less-cared dogs in Albania. To provide data on the epidemiological situation in dogs under veterinary care, a total of 602 client-owned dogs presented to four small animal clinics between March 2010 and April 2011 in Tirana, Albania, were screened by examination of Giemsa-stained blood smears, PCR, and serological methods for the presence of arthropod-borne infections, as well as Neospora caninum and Toxoplasma gondii. Eight different pathogens, namely Babesia vogeli, Hepatozoon canis, Leishmania infantum, Dirofilaria immitis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Anaplasma platys, Ehrlichia canis, and Mycoplasma haemocanis, were detected by direct methods with prevalence rates ranging from 1 to 9%. Seroprevalence for Babesia spp., L. infantum, Anaplasma spp., and E. canis were 6.6, 5.1, 24.1, and 20.8%, respectively. Dogs >1 year of age were positive for vector-borne infections significantly more often than younger dogs (p=0.003). More than half (51.7%) of the dogs were seroreactive to T. gondii and 18.3% to N. caninum. This is the first report on the detection of A. phagocytophilum, A. platys, E. canis, and M. haemocanis by PCR as well as the serological confirmation of exposure of dogs to N. caninum and T. gondii in Albania. The spectrum of pathogens and the seroprevalences for N. caninum and T. gondii in client-owned dogs from Tirana, Albania, are comparable to that reported in other countries in the Mediterranean Basin. The prevalence rates of vector-borne pathogens are at the lower range of that reported in studies from this geographical region. This is probably due to increased awareness of the owners of pet dogs, including better husbandry conditions and ectoparasiticidal treatment, thus limiting exposure of dogs to vectors.


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.


Knaus M.,Merial GmbH | Kusi I.,Klinika Veterinare | Kusi I.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Rapti D.,Universiteti Bujqesor | And 4 more authors.
Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift | Year: 2011

Following the recovery of first-stage nematode larvae indicative of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus infection in the faeces of free-roaming cats from the greater Tirana area, examination of 18 cats at necropsy revealed nine of them harbouring adult A. abstrusus (Railliet, 1898) in the lungs (prevalence, 50%; range, 1-11). In addition to A. abstrusus, Eucoleus aerophilus (16.7%; 1-9) was isolated from the lungs, and Toxocara cati (83.3%; 2-33), Ancylostoma tubaeforme (44.4%; 1-20), Dipylidium caninum (83.3%; 1-164), Joyeuxiella pasqualei (11.1%; 1-3) and one specimen of an acanthocephalan (5.5%) were recovered from the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, oocysts of Cystoisospora felis and C. rivolta were found in the rectal faeces of 5.6% and 11.1% of the cats, respectively. In conclusion, the prevalence of endoparasite infection in free-roaming cats in Tirana can be considered to be high. The occurrence of A. abstrusus, which may cause respiratory distress in cats, is reported for the first time in Albania. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Knaus M.,Merial GmbH | Shukullari E.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Rapti D.,Universiteti Bujqesor | Rehbein S.,Merial GmbH
Parasitology Research | Year: 2015

Capillaria aerophila is a globally distributed parasite of the respiratory system of carnivores and can be considered the second most common lungworm after Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in domestic cats in the northern hemisphere. To evaluate the efficacy of Broadline® (Merial), a combination of fipronil 8.3 % w/v, (S)-methoprene 10 % w/v, eprinomectin 0.4 % w/v and praziquantel 8.3 % w/v against C. aerophila, a controlled study with 20 naturally infected cats was conducted. Following blocking by body weight, cats were allocated randomly to two groups of ten animals each: control (untreated) or treated once with Broadline® according to the label instructions. For evaluation of efficacy, faeces were examined for capillarid egg shedding prior to and weekly for 3 weeks after treatment, when the cats were necropsied for C. aerophila recovery. Following single topical administration of Broadline®, faecal capillarid egg counts were significantly reduced by 93.5 to 99.1 % (p < 0.01) compared to the controls. Cats treated harboured significantly fewer C. aerophila lungworms compared to the untreated controls (efficacy 82.4 %, p = 0.016). Results of this study demonstrate that Capillaria lungworm burdens can be markedly reduced and that faecal egg shedding can be substantially lowered or eliminated following a single treatment with Broadline®. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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