High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq

Domenico Otranto, Roberta Iatta, Gad Baneth, Maria Alfonsa Cavalera, Angelica Bianco, Antonio Parisi, Filipe Dantas-Torres, Vito Colella, Audrey C. McMillan-Cole, Bruno B Chomel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) of domestic and wild carnivores are of major public health concern both in industrialized and developing countries, especially in poor socioeconomic settings. War-torn areas specifically suffer from absence of veterinary surveillance of VBDs, resulting in lack of scientific knowledge on this topic. To investigate occurence and prevalence of several vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in some carnivore species from Iraq, blood samples (n = 397) were obtained from 190 canids [97 stray dogs (Canis familiaris), 55 jackals (Canis aureus) and 38 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)] and 207 stray cats (Felis catus) collected during a feral animal control and zoonotic disease surveillance program in several United States military bases in Iraq. The presence of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., Dirofilaria spp. and Leishmania spp. DNA was molecularly investigated. Out of 397 animals tested, 176 (44.3%; 95% CI: 39.5–49.2%) were positive for at least one pathogen with the highest prevalence in foxes (73.7%; 95% CI: 58–85%), followed by jackals (54.5%; 95% CI: 41.5–67%), dogs (38.1%; 29.1–48.1%) and cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). Up to five pathogens were diagnosed in dogs. Hepatozoon canis was the most prevalent VBP in jackals (49.1%; 95% CI: 36.4–61.9%), foxes (47.3%; 95% CI: 32.5–62.7%) and dogs (33%; 95% CI: 24.4–42.8%), whereas Hepatozoon felis was the only species detected in cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). A species of Babesia related to but different from Babesia lengau and designated as Babesia sp. MML was detected in six foxes (15.8%; 95% CI: 7.4–30.4%) and in one jackal (1.8%; 95% CI: 0.3–9.6%). This finding suggested the existence of a new species in the genus Babesia as inferred by molecular and phylogenetical analysis. Further, Babesia vulpes was identified only in two foxes (5.3%; 95% CI: 1.5–17.3%). All samples were negative for Leishmania spp. and Ehrlichia spp. Co-infection with H. canis and Babesia spp. was the most prevalent (5/176, 2.8%, i.e., 4 foxes and 1 jackal), followed by H. canis and Dirofilaria immitis (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in 1 jackal), H. canis and Dirofilaria repens or Acanthocheilonema reconditum (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in one dog, each). Data presented fill gaps into knowledge of VBPs in dogs, cats and wild canids in Iraq, indicating that different pathogens circulate amongst animal populations living in the same areas, possibly sharing the same tick vectors. Large-scale surveys are urgently needed to further assess VBPs distribution in Iraq and establish preventative strategies in domestic animals to minimize the risk of infection for animals and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105058
JournalActa Tropica
Volume197
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Fingerprint

Iraq
Jackals
Babesia
Dogs
Cats
Ehrlichia
Disease Vectors
Leishmania
Acanthocheilonema
Dirofilaria
Dirofilaria repens
Military Facilities
Anaplasma
Felis
Dirofilaria immitis
Animal Diseases
Domestic Animals
Zoonoses
Ticks
Coinfection

Keywords

  • Anaplasma platys
  • Babesia sp. MML
  • Babesia vulpes
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Foxes
  • Hepatozoon canis
  • Hepatozoon felis
  • Iraq
  • Jackals
  • Vector-borne disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq. / Otranto, Domenico; Iatta, Roberta; Baneth, Gad; Cavalera, Maria Alfonsa; Bianco, Angelica; Parisi, Antonio; Dantas-Torres, Filipe; Colella, Vito; McMillan-Cole, Audrey C.; Chomel, Bruno B.

In: Acta Tropica, Vol. 197, 105058, 01.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Otranto, D, Iatta, R, Baneth, G, Cavalera, MA, Bianco, A, Parisi, A, Dantas-Torres, F, Colella, V, McMillan-Cole, AC & Chomel, BB 2019, 'High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq', Acta Tropica, vol. 197, 105058. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.105058
Otranto D, Iatta R, Baneth G, Cavalera MA, Bianco A, Parisi A et al. High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq. Acta Tropica. 2019 Sep 1;197. 105058. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.105058
Otranto, Domenico ; Iatta, Roberta ; Baneth, Gad ; Cavalera, Maria Alfonsa ; Bianco, Angelica ; Parisi, Antonio ; Dantas-Torres, Filipe ; Colella, Vito ; McMillan-Cole, Audrey C. ; Chomel, Bruno B. / High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq. In: Acta Tropica. 2019 ; Vol. 197.
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title = "High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq",
abstract = "Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) of domestic and wild carnivores are of major public health concern both in industrialized and developing countries, especially in poor socioeconomic settings. War-torn areas specifically suffer from absence of veterinary surveillance of VBDs, resulting in lack of scientific knowledge on this topic. To investigate occurence and prevalence of several vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in some carnivore species from Iraq, blood samples (n = 397) were obtained from 190 canids [97 stray dogs (Canis familiaris), 55 jackals (Canis aureus) and 38 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)] and 207 stray cats (Felis catus) collected during a feral animal control and zoonotic disease surveillance program in several United States military bases in Iraq. The presence of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., Dirofilaria spp. and Leishmania spp. DNA was molecularly investigated. Out of 397 animals tested, 176 (44.3{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 39.5–49.2{\%}) were positive for at least one pathogen with the highest prevalence in foxes (73.7{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 58–85{\%}), followed by jackals (54.5{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 41.5–67{\%}), dogs (38.1{\%}; 29.1–48.1{\%}) and cats (39.1{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 32.7–45.9{\%}). Up to five pathogens were diagnosed in dogs. Hepatozoon canis was the most prevalent VBP in jackals (49.1{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 36.4–61.9{\%}), foxes (47.3{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 32.5–62.7{\%}) and dogs (33{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 24.4–42.8{\%}), whereas Hepatozoon felis was the only species detected in cats (39.1{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 32.7–45.9{\%}). A species of Babesia related to but different from Babesia lengau and designated as Babesia sp. MML was detected in six foxes (15.8{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 7.4–30.4{\%}) and in one jackal (1.8{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 0.3–9.6{\%}). This finding suggested the existence of a new species in the genus Babesia as inferred by molecular and phylogenetical analysis. Further, Babesia vulpes was identified only in two foxes (5.3{\%}; 95{\%} CI: 1.5–17.3{\%}). All samples were negative for Leishmania spp. and Ehrlichia spp. Co-infection with H. canis and Babesia spp. was the most prevalent (5/176, 2.8{\%}, i.e., 4 foxes and 1 jackal), followed by H. canis and Dirofilaria immitis (1/176, 1.3{\%}, i.e., in 1 jackal), H. canis and Dirofilaria repens or Acanthocheilonema reconditum (1/176, 1.3{\%}, i.e., in one dog, each). Data presented fill gaps into knowledge of VBPs in dogs, cats and wild canids in Iraq, indicating that different pathogens circulate amongst animal populations living in the same areas, possibly sharing the same tick vectors. Large-scale surveys are urgently needed to further assess VBPs distribution in Iraq and establish preventative strategies in domestic animals to minimize the risk of infection for animals and humans.",
keywords = "Anaplasma platys, Babesia sp. MML, Babesia vulpes, Cats, Dogs, Foxes, Hepatozoon canis, Hepatozoon felis, Iraq, Jackals, Vector-borne disease",
author = "Domenico Otranto and Roberta Iatta and Gad Baneth and Cavalera, {Maria Alfonsa} and Angelica Bianco and Antonio Parisi and Filipe Dantas-Torres and Vito Colella and McMillan-Cole, {Audrey C.} and Chomel, {Bruno B}",
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T1 - High prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in domestic and wild carnivores in Iraq

AU - Otranto, Domenico

AU - Iatta, Roberta

AU - Baneth, Gad

AU - Cavalera, Maria Alfonsa

AU - Bianco, Angelica

AU - Parisi, Antonio

AU - Dantas-Torres, Filipe

AU - Colella, Vito

AU - McMillan-Cole, Audrey C.

AU - Chomel, Bruno B

PY - 2019/9/1

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N2 - Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) of domestic and wild carnivores are of major public health concern both in industrialized and developing countries, especially in poor socioeconomic settings. War-torn areas specifically suffer from absence of veterinary surveillance of VBDs, resulting in lack of scientific knowledge on this topic. To investigate occurence and prevalence of several vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in some carnivore species from Iraq, blood samples (n = 397) were obtained from 190 canids [97 stray dogs (Canis familiaris), 55 jackals (Canis aureus) and 38 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)] and 207 stray cats (Felis catus) collected during a feral animal control and zoonotic disease surveillance program in several United States military bases in Iraq. The presence of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., Dirofilaria spp. and Leishmania spp. DNA was molecularly investigated. Out of 397 animals tested, 176 (44.3%; 95% CI: 39.5–49.2%) were positive for at least one pathogen with the highest prevalence in foxes (73.7%; 95% CI: 58–85%), followed by jackals (54.5%; 95% CI: 41.5–67%), dogs (38.1%; 29.1–48.1%) and cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). Up to five pathogens were diagnosed in dogs. Hepatozoon canis was the most prevalent VBP in jackals (49.1%; 95% CI: 36.4–61.9%), foxes (47.3%; 95% CI: 32.5–62.7%) and dogs (33%; 95% CI: 24.4–42.8%), whereas Hepatozoon felis was the only species detected in cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). A species of Babesia related to but different from Babesia lengau and designated as Babesia sp. MML was detected in six foxes (15.8%; 95% CI: 7.4–30.4%) and in one jackal (1.8%; 95% CI: 0.3–9.6%). This finding suggested the existence of a new species in the genus Babesia as inferred by molecular and phylogenetical analysis. Further, Babesia vulpes was identified only in two foxes (5.3%; 95% CI: 1.5–17.3%). All samples were negative for Leishmania spp. and Ehrlichia spp. Co-infection with H. canis and Babesia spp. was the most prevalent (5/176, 2.8%, i.e., 4 foxes and 1 jackal), followed by H. canis and Dirofilaria immitis (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in 1 jackal), H. canis and Dirofilaria repens or Acanthocheilonema reconditum (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in one dog, each). Data presented fill gaps into knowledge of VBPs in dogs, cats and wild canids in Iraq, indicating that different pathogens circulate amongst animal populations living in the same areas, possibly sharing the same tick vectors. Large-scale surveys are urgently needed to further assess VBPs distribution in Iraq and establish preventative strategies in domestic animals to minimize the risk of infection for animals and humans.

AB - Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) of domestic and wild carnivores are of major public health concern both in industrialized and developing countries, especially in poor socioeconomic settings. War-torn areas specifically suffer from absence of veterinary surveillance of VBDs, resulting in lack of scientific knowledge on this topic. To investigate occurence and prevalence of several vector-borne pathogens (VBPs) in some carnivore species from Iraq, blood samples (n = 397) were obtained from 190 canids [97 stray dogs (Canis familiaris), 55 jackals (Canis aureus) and 38 red foxes (Vulpes vulpes)] and 207 stray cats (Felis catus) collected during a feral animal control and zoonotic disease surveillance program in several United States military bases in Iraq. The presence of Babesia spp., Hepatozoon spp., Ehrlichia spp., Anaplasma spp., Dirofilaria spp. and Leishmania spp. DNA was molecularly investigated. Out of 397 animals tested, 176 (44.3%; 95% CI: 39.5–49.2%) were positive for at least one pathogen with the highest prevalence in foxes (73.7%; 95% CI: 58–85%), followed by jackals (54.5%; 95% CI: 41.5–67%), dogs (38.1%; 29.1–48.1%) and cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). Up to five pathogens were diagnosed in dogs. Hepatozoon canis was the most prevalent VBP in jackals (49.1%; 95% CI: 36.4–61.9%), foxes (47.3%; 95% CI: 32.5–62.7%) and dogs (33%; 95% CI: 24.4–42.8%), whereas Hepatozoon felis was the only species detected in cats (39.1%; 95% CI: 32.7–45.9%). A species of Babesia related to but different from Babesia lengau and designated as Babesia sp. MML was detected in six foxes (15.8%; 95% CI: 7.4–30.4%) and in one jackal (1.8%; 95% CI: 0.3–9.6%). This finding suggested the existence of a new species in the genus Babesia as inferred by molecular and phylogenetical analysis. Further, Babesia vulpes was identified only in two foxes (5.3%; 95% CI: 1.5–17.3%). All samples were negative for Leishmania spp. and Ehrlichia spp. Co-infection with H. canis and Babesia spp. was the most prevalent (5/176, 2.8%, i.e., 4 foxes and 1 jackal), followed by H. canis and Dirofilaria immitis (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in 1 jackal), H. canis and Dirofilaria repens or Acanthocheilonema reconditum (1/176, 1.3%, i.e., in one dog, each). Data presented fill gaps into knowledge of VBPs in dogs, cats and wild canids in Iraq, indicating that different pathogens circulate amongst animal populations living in the same areas, possibly sharing the same tick vectors. Large-scale surveys are urgently needed to further assess VBPs distribution in Iraq and establish preventative strategies in domestic animals to minimize the risk of infection for animals and humans.

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KW - Babesia sp. MML

KW - Babesia vulpes

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KW - Dogs

KW - Foxes

KW - Hepatozoon canis

KW - Hepatozoon felis

KW - Iraq

KW - Jackals

KW - Vector-borne disease

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