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Browsing by Author "Kapiainen, Suvi"

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  • Kapiainen, Suvi (University of HelsinkiHelsingin yliopistoHelsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Only little data is available on seroprevalence of tick borne diseases in Finnish dogs. Worldwide these diseases, anaplasmosis being one of them, are relatively widely studied. In some European countries the disease has become more common than earlier and it has spread more towards North just in the last few years. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum –bacterium in Finnish dogs, the PCR-positivity in relation with seropositivity and the risk factors for exposure to a vector borne pathogen. The hypotheseis were that Anaplasma phagocytophilum is underdiagnosed in Finland, there are more Anaplasma phagocytophilum -infections and seropositive dogs in the southern parts of Finland and that hunting dogs are more susceptible for Anaplasma phagocytophilum -seropositivity compared to pet dogs. For material, 390 canine blood samples (serum, EDTA) were collected all around Finland. Of these samples, 50 were from hunting dogs. DNA was extracted from the EDTA-samples and with real-time -PCR the PCR-positive, bacteremic dogs, were spotted. Seropositivity was tested from the serum samples by using commercial SNAP 4Dx-test. The seroprevalence of anaplasmosis in Finnish dogs was 4,6% (18/390) and in hunting dogs 4,0% (2/50). Regionally in Åland there were more seropositive dogs than elsewhere in Finland. In Åland the seropositivity was 45% (9/20). Small dogs were more often seropositive than large dogs. Only two Finnish dogs were PCR-positive (2/390), meaning they had Anaplasma phagocytophilum -infection. These two dogs were seronegative. This study suggests that canine anaplasmosis is an important tick borne disease in Finnish dogs. The results show that dogs are commonly exposed to anaplasmosis especially in Åland islands and small dogs may be more susceptible to infection than large. It is unclear at this point if the prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum -exposure will increase in other parts of the country due to the climate change and the northern spread of Ixodes ticks. The prevalence of actual infection is low. Because of this low number of Anaplasma phagocytophilum -positive dogs, no risk factors for infection could be identified in our study. Therefore, future studies with larger number of infected dogs are necessary to better understand the risk factors associated with Anaplasma phagocytophilum -infections in dogs and in people.