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Biometeorological analysis on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs

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Abstract

Babesiosis and ehrlichiosis are highly morbid vector-borne diseases causing fatal conditions among dogs of the tropics and the pertinent association of the environmental determinants on their epidemiology remains unexplored. The present study aimed to evaluate the impact of biometeorological factors like climate and air quality parameters on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in clinically anemic dogs. The dogs having clinical signs suggestive of hemoparasitism were randomly screened from July 2022 to June 2023 for the molecular incidence of Babesia gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis, and B. canis organisms. The weather parameters [maximum and minimum temperatures, mean daily temperature, daily variation in temperature, average relative humidity, Temperature Humidity Index-THI and bright sunshine hours] and air quality parameters [Air Quality Index-AQI, Particulate Matter 2.5 μm-PM2.5 (minimum, maximum, average, daily variation), and Particulate Matter 10 μm-PM10 (minimum, maximum, average, daily variation)] of the sampling days were recorded and statistically evaluated for identifying any correlation with the molecular incidence of each organism. The results depict an evident correlation between the studied parameters and the molecular incidence of these hemoparasites in dogs. Out of 448 samples screened, the high prevalence of hemoparasitism (28.35%), including B. gibsoni (40.89%), E. canis (15.17%) and B. canis (16.67%) infections, was observed among the dogs of the study region during the study period. Also, the variability in the distribution pattern of each organism with respect to the biometeorological parameter points towards the future possibility of developing a disease surveillance-cum-forecast system, based on the host-vector-environment-pathogen epidemiological interplay dynamics.

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Acknowledgements

This study was conducted using the facilities developed under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Government of India and state plan projects, Government of Kerala at Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex, College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU). The manpower for the laboratory studies was funded under the revolving fund scheme of KVASU and the Startup Research Grant Scheme (Grant no. SRG/2022/000837) of the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Department of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India.

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Highlights

• First study on the impact of biometeorological parameters in the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs.

• The test positivity rates of Babesia gibsoni and Ehrlichia canis are dependent on the increase in certain weather parameters like temperature and Temperature Humidity Index.

• The biometeorological parameters including weather and air quality variables of the sampling days are negatively correlated with B. canis incidence.

• The prevalence of VBDs is supposed to be associated with the favourable environmental conditions for increased vector activity, larval maintenance and host susceptibility to climate stress.

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Ajith, Y., Adithya, S., Panicker, V.P. et al. Biometeorological analysis on the molecular incidence of babesiosis and ehrlichiosis in dogs. Theor Appl Climatol 155, 1573–1582 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-023-04709-5

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