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  • Author or Editor: Barbara Tuska-Szalay x
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Abstract

In this study, faecal samples of four American Staffordshire terrier dogs (used for illegal fighting) were analysed by DNA extraction, molecular-phylogenetic and parasitological methods, in order to examine the occurrence of protozoan, apicomplexan parasites. In one sample, the DNA of Sarcocystis morae was shown to be present. This species was identified based on 100% identity with already reported sequences of S. morae from cervids in Lithuania and Spain. The result was also confirmed by phylogenetic analysis. The sporocysts of the canine S. morae isolate measured 14.95 × 9.75 μm on average. This is the first molecular evidence in support of the final host role of domestic dogs in the life cycle of S. morae. The most likely source of the infection was raw meat given to the examined dog to increase its physical achievement. In conclusion, under similar circumstances dogs may participate in the life cycle of S. morae in a ‘natural way’, shedding sporocysts/oocysts when used for hunting or taken to walks in forested areas.

Open access

Abstract

Anaplasma phagocytophilum is the causative agent of granulocytic anaplasmosis in humans, dogs, cats, horses and tick-borne fever in ruminants. In Europe, its main vector is the tick species Ixodes ricinus. In this study, spleen and liver samples, as well as ticks from 18 wild-living mammals (belonging to seven species) were analysed for the presence of A. phagocytophilum with molecular methods. The zoonotic ecotype-I of A. phagocytophilum was identified in a European wildcat (Felis silvestris) and its tick, a European pine marten (Martes martes) and a Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris). All PCR-positive samples were collected in 2019 and originated in the same geographic area. These results indicate that taxonomically diverse mammalian species can maintain the local enzootic cycle of the same genotype of A. phagocytophilum. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of the zoonotic variant of A. phagocytophilum in the wildcat and in the European pine marten in a broad geographical context, as well as in the red squirrel in Hungary. Since all these host species are well known for their urban and peri-urban presence, the results of this study verify their role in the synanthropic enzootic cycle of granulocytic anaplasmosis and tick-borne fever.

Open access