Epidemiological Study of Canine Babesiosis and Hepatozoonosis in the South of Romania

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and distribution of canine babesiosis and hepatozoonosis in the south of Romania as well as to assess if there are differences in the prevalence between regions in that area.

Methods

Blood samples from 300 dogs from the south of Romania were screened for the presence of piroplasmids by PCR. Positive samples were further tested for the presence of Babesia spp. and Hepatozoon canis. Pearson's chi-square with Yates correction was used to determine if there is statistical difference between infected populations.

Results

Fifty-four percent (163/300) of the dogs were positive for Hepatozoon spp. or piroplasmids. Forty-eight percent (143/300) were infected with H. canis and 9.6% (29/300) were positive to B. canis. Three percent (9/300) of the dogs were co-infected with Babesia spp. and H. canis. The prevalence of H. canis in the south-west of Romania was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that of three other regions while the prevalence of Babesia spp. infection in the south-east of the country was significantly higher (p < 0.05) compared to its south-west.

Conclusions

A high rate of H. canis infection was found in the stray dog population surveyed with the highest infection rate detected in south-western Romania. Babesia canis was found to pose the highest threat in south-eastern Romania, whereas B. vogeli infection was focused in the same region of high H. canis infection in south-western Romania. These infections should be of important concern to veterinarians and dog owners in Romania.

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Availability of Data and Materials

All the data supporting the conclusions of this article are available within the article. The sequences obtained in this study are available in GenBank under the accession numbers MN540616–MN540630.

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Acknowledgements

The work was carried out under the frame of the EurNegVec COST Action TD1303.

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Authors

Contributions

AAC, GB, YN-B, and LM wrote the manuscript, AAC managed the sample collection. AAC and BB-S performed the molecular analysis, AAC and YN-B performed phylogenetic analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Liviu Miron.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The study was done with the consent of the shelter management and with the ethical approval of the Ethics committee of the Veterinary Faculty of Iași (reference number: 702).

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Cimpan, A.A., Nachum-Biala, Y., Ben-Shitrit, B. et al. Epidemiological Study of Canine Babesiosis and Hepatozoonosis in the South of Romania. Acta Parasit. 65, 669–678 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00199-x

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Keywords

  • PCR
  • Romania
  • Babesia canis
  • Babesia vogeli
  • Hepatzoon canis