Autochthonous Hepatozoon infection in hunting dogs and foxes from the Czech Republic
- 331 Downloads
Blood samples from 21 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and 8 hunting dogs from the same locality in the Czech Republic were examined for presence of Hepatozoon canis/Hepatozoon sp. The dogs were selected based on their close contact with foxes during fox bolting and because they had not traveled into known endemic areas. Using diagnostic PCR amplifying partial 18S rDNA fragment, Hepatozoon DNA was detected in 20 red foxes (95 %) and 4 dogs (50 %). From 8 positive foxes and 2 positive dogs, we obtained nearly complete 18S rDNA sequences. Phylogenetic analyses of these sequences revealed very low variability. Buffy coat smears from positive dogs were prepared and examined. No Hepatozoon gamonts were found. This study provides the first report of autochthonous infection of H. canis/Hepatozoon in dogs and foxes from the Czech Republic. Our study indirectly demonstrates cross infection between red foxes and dogs and confirms autochthonous infection of Hepatozoon canis in dogs living in a geographic area well outside the range of Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato, which is so far the only known vector of H. canis in Europe.
KeywordsHepatozoon canis Dogs Red foxes Czech Republic Autochthonous infection
The study was conducted under EurNegVec COST Action TD1303 and financially supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, projects CEITEC 2020 (LQ1601), COST CZ LD14048, and by Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, project PCE 236/2011.
KH was supported by project LO1218 with financial support from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the NPU I program. We acknowledge a grant for the development of research organization (RVO: RO0516).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Baneth G, Sheiner A, Eyal O, Hahn S, Beaufils J-P, Anug Y, Talmi-Frank D (2013) Redescription of Hepatozoon felis (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) based on phylogenetic analysis, tissue and blood form morphology, and possible transplacental transmission. Parasites Vectors 6:102. doi: 10.1186/1756-3305-6-102 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Criado-Fornelio A, Ruas JL, Casado N, Farias NAR, Soares MP, Müller G, Brum JGW, Berne MEA, Buling-Saraña A, Barba-Carretero JC (2006) New molecular data on mammalian Hepatozoon species (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina) from Brazil and Spain. J Parasitol 92:93–99. doi: 10.1645/GE-464R.1 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Estrada-Peña A, Farkas R, Jaenson TGT, Koenen F, Madder M, Pascucci I, Salman M, Tarrés-Call J, Jongejan F (2013) Association of environmental traits with the geographic ranges of ticks (Acari: Ixodidae) of medical and veterinary importance in the western Palearctic. A digital data set. Exp Appl Acarol 59:351–366. doi: 10.1007/s10493-012-9600-7 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Hornok S, Tánczos B, Fernández De Mera IG, de la Fuente J, Hofmann-Lehmann R, Farkas R (2013) High prevalence of Hepatozoon-infection among shepherd dogs in a region considered to be free of Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Vet Parasitol 196:189–193. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.02.009 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Najm N-A, Meyer-Kayser E, Hoffmann L, Pfister K, Silaghi C (2014) Hepatozoon canis in German red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and their ticks: molecular characterization and the phylogenetic relationship to other Hepatozoon spp. Parasitol Res 113:2679–2685. doi: 10.1007/s00436-014-3923-8 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Swofford DL (2003) PAUP* (Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony *and other methods) Version 4. Sinauer Associates, SunderlandGoogle Scholar