Vector-borne pathogens (Babesia spp., Anaplasma spp., Ehrlichia spp., Hepatozoon spp.) occur throughout the world. Vector-borne pathogens were newly found on the migratory birds and wild animals in Jeju Island because of the climate change.
This study was conducted to investigate the presence and prevalence of vector-borne pathogens in dogs from Jeju Island.
Material and Methods
Blood samples were collected from 210 dogs in Jeju Island. Whole blood were tested for the presence of Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum/platys and Bartonella burgdorferi antibodies using a qualitative ELISA SNAP 4Dx® (IDEXX Laboratories, USA) and Anigen Rapid CaniV-4® Test (Bionote Inc., Korea) kit. To detect vector-borne pathogens, DNA fragment inside 18s and 16s rRNA of these organisms was amplified by PCR. The PCR products were sequenced at least twice to reduce possibility of sequencing artifacts.
Of the 210 samples, 34 dogs (16%) tested positive against Babesia spp., 17 dogs (8%) tested positive against Hepatozoon canis and 6 dogs (3%) tested positive co-infection. Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. were not detected by PCR and none of the subjected samples tested positive (0%) against antibodies by kit test. Positive samples were confirmed to be B. gibsoni with homology of 99% to B. gibsoni (GeneBank accession no. AY150067) by sequencing.
In this study, it was possible to confirm that B. gibsoni and Hepatozoon canis infection is present in dogs from Jeju. Although Anaplasma spp. and Ehrlichia spp. infection is not detected, further study is required to attain more accurate and reliable data.