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Proceeding of the LAVC
Latin American Veterinary Conference
Oct. 25-27, 2010 – Lima, Peru

Next LAVC Conference:

Oct. 24-26, 2011 – Lima, Peru

Reprinted in the IVIS website with the permission of the LAVC

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EVPC Center for Veterinary Health Sciences Oklahoma State University. Cayenne tick Ehrlichia ewingii Gulf Coast tick Ehrlichia chaffeensis Lone star tick Panola Mountain Ehrlichia spp. In recent years. Table 1. wood tick Ehrlichia canis American dog tick Ehrlichia chaffeensis Rickettsia rickettsii Babesia canis I. and the potential for transmission of disease agents to people and dogs appears to be increasing. Dipl. Perú . several different tick species may be commonly found on dogs. depression. Stillwater. Clinical disease Of the ehrlichial agents that infect dogs. DVM.Published in IVIS with the permission of the LAVC Close window to return to IVIS Recent Developments in Canine Ehrlichiosis Susan E. OK. Little. tick populations have increased in number and extent of geographic distribution. and frequency and importance of infection and co-infection with these agents. and at least one stage or species of tick is active in any given month. This presentation will review recent developments in our understanding of ehrlichiosis.2010 . Common vectors of canine ehrlichiosis and other canine pathogens Tick genus Common names Pathogen(s) vectored Rhipicephalus sanguineus brown dog tick Ehrlichia canis Ehrlichia ewingii Ehrlichia chaffeensis Anaplasma platys Rickettsia rickettsii Babesia canis Babesia gibsoni Hepatozoon canis Amblyomma spp. several others Rickettsia rickettsii Hepatozoon americanum Dermacentor spp. PhD. including updates in clinical disease. USA Introduction Vector-borne diseases in general. creating a risk for year-round transmission of a number of different tick-borne disease agents. Throughout much of the Western Hemisphere. are increasingly recognized as important in both veterinary medicine and public health. new disease agents have been identified in both dogs and people. One group of disease agents particularly important to canine health are the Ehrlichia spp. and thrombocytopenia which may Proceedings of the Latin American Veterinary Conference. myalgia. leucopenia. diagnostic and treatment strategies. Infections result in fever. Lima. Ehrlichia canis causes the most severe disease. and tick-borne diseases in particular.

the organisms are often present in low numbers. Vaccines are not available to protect dogs or people from infection with Ehrlichia spp. chaffeensis or other Ehrlichia spp. can be quite useful to diagnose acute ehrlichiosis. many infected dogs are asymptomatic. and thus prior or current infection. and disease with any of the ehrlichial pathogens may be more severe when co-infections occur. Testing by PCR. A positive also may be generated on the E. Ehrlichia spp. As molecular testing becomes readily available and more widely applied. with most dogs responding to doxycycline therapy within 2-3 days. Treatment and prevention of ehrlichiosis Ehrlichiosis can be effectively treated with a 4-week course of doxycycline. A negative result on PCR or blood smear examination does not rule-out the possibility of infection. Although not always present.2010 . can be performed but is challenging and largely reserved for specialized research laboratories. ewingii). canis spot when exposure to some strains of E. Keeping pets on effective acaricides year-round likely decreases the population of ticks within the pets’ home range. may be detected on a patient-side assay such as the 3Dx/4Dx SNAP tests or may require a diagnostic laboratory to perform an IFA. canis component of the 3Dx/4Dx assay indicates that antibodies are present. polyarthritis is particularly associated with E. imidocarb diprorionate and rifampin have also been shown to have some efficacy against E. III. canis. If a low platelet count is present then treatment is indicated. chaffeensis generally results in mild to moderate febrile disease in dogs. canis. ewingii is common. Culture for Ehrlichia spp. cross-reactivity among different Ehrlichia spp. positives do indicate that there has been a breach in the tick control program and that the dog is being bitten by ticks and at risk of contracting a tick-borne disease. so long as circulating organisms are present. examination of stained blood smears. However. chaffeensis. fatalities can result. Treatment is also indicated in any clinically ill dog. particularly with the monocytic forms. canis. when positives occur. Lima.. However. However. a complete blood count with platelet count should be performed. preventing infection in both pets and people relies almost entirely on careful adherence to tick control measures. ewingii infections in dogs. Other tests for ehrlichiosis include polymerase chain reaction. Nonetheless. has occurred. E. Perú . but not necessarily disease. and specialized training is required to identify them accurately. if severely affected or infected with a particularly pathogenic strain of E. and E. particularly epistaxis. including E. ewingii and E. repeated or extended treatment may be necessary in some refractory cases. Thus. and thus decreases the overall number of ticks to which both pets and people are exposed. has occurred. With strict adherence to the routine use of tick control Proceedings of the Latin American Veterinary Conference. which detects DNA of causative agents. canis. such as performing frequent tick checks and promptly removing any attached ticks when in a tick-infested environment. The E. recent research shows that the majority of E. are found in circulating monocytes (E. chaffeensis. Regardless of the cause of antibody production. Antibodies may also be detected on IFA using E. canis infected cells as antigen. additional ehrlichial pathogens of people and dogs will likely be identified. and culture. If identified quickly and treatment is promptly instituted. Antibodies to Ehrlichia spp. further safeguards both human and pet health. Following tick protective measures. E. canis SNAP- positive dogs in some areas actually have exposure to E. indeed. the prognosis for mild to moderate cases is quite good. Infection with E. Interpreting test results for agents of ehrlichiosis Tick-borne disease testing often involves detection of antibodies to different organisms of interest. This approach allows determination of a titer. Ehrlichiosis can also be diagnosed by finding organisms within blood cells on stained blood smears. The most common source of ticks to both people and pets is contact with recently emerged or questing stages in an infested environment rather than direct contact with infested dogs. II. Thus. chaffeensis) or neutrophils (E.Published in IVIS with the permission of the LAVC Close window to return to IVIS lead to bleeding diatheses.

Little SE. 2009.capcvet. 2010. treatment. Vector-borne Diseases. Prevalence and geographic distribution of Dirofilaria immitis. Little SE. Breitschwerdt EB. Lima. Dantas-Torres F. and control of flea and tick infestations. Otranto D. 160:138-48. Vet Parasitol. Accessed May 1. Managing canine vector-borne diseases of zoonotic concern: part one. Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in dogs and cats. the risk of infection with tick-borne disease agents in both pets and people can be reduced. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 39(6): 1173-200. Selected References (additional detailed references available upon request) Blagburn BL. http://www. Ehrlichia canis. Biology. et al. In press. Borrelia burgdorferi.2010 . Bowman DD.org. and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in dogs in the USA. Trends Parasitol 25(4):157-63 Proceedings of the Latin American Veterinary Conference. 2009. Perú . Companion Animal Parasite Council Guidelines. Lorentzen L. and care whenever entering a potentially tick-infested environment. 2009. 2010. Vet Clin North Amer Small Anim Pract. Dryden MW.Published in IVIS with the permission of the LAVC Close window to return to IVIS products on pets.