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Canine seroprevalence ofRickettsia conorii infection (Mediterranean spotted fever) in Castilla y León (northwest Spain)

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A seroepidemiological study was conducted in 308 dogs to determine the presence of antibodies toRickettsia conorii, using an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA). Seven of the provinces of the Castilla y León region (Burgos, León, Palencia, Salamanca, Soria, Valladolid, and Zamora) were covered by the study. Of the 308 dogs analysed, 72 (23.4%) showed significant titers by IFA (1/40 or higher). Seroprevalences were significantly differents between provinces of origin of the animals. These were below 30% in almost all the provinces studied, except for Salamanca province, where the percentage of seropositive dogs was much greater (93.3%). Potential risk factors (presence of ticks on the animals, age, sex, use, habitat, and season) relating to the presence of Mediterranean spotted fever, or Boutonneuse fever, were evaluated. Animals used for guard or pastor activities and those living in rural areas (these factors are closely linked), together with those suffering from tick infestation, had significantly higher seroprevalence than the remainder. The frequency of seropositive dogs increased during the summer months, and these coincide with the period of greatest activity by the vector. Sex and age variables were not identified as risk factors.

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indirect immunofluorescence assay


mediterranean spotted fever


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Correspondence to Silvia Delgado.

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Delgado, S., Cármenes, P. Canine seroprevalence ofRickettsia conorii infection (Mediterranean spotted fever) in Castilla y León (northwest Spain). Eur J Epidemiol 11, 597–600 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01719315

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Key words

  • Dog
  • Epidemiology
  • Mediterranean spotted fever
  • Serological surveys
  • Spain
  • Rickettsia conorii