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Canine Infection by Rickettsiae and Ehrlichiae in Southern Brazil

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  • 1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil; Institute of Biology, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil; Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
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This study evaluated the infection caused by Rickettsia and Ehrlichia agents among dogs in southern Brazil. A total of 389 dogs were tested by the indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for Rickettsia rickettsii, Rickettsia parkeri, Rickettsia amblyommii, Rickettsia rhipicephali, Rickettsia bellii, and Ehrlichia canis. Overall, 42.4% (165/389) of the dogs were seroreactive to at least one Rickettsia species, but only 11 canine sera reacted with another Rickettsia species without reacting with R. parkeri. A total of 100 (25.7%) canine sera showed titers to R. parkeri at least 4-fold higher than those to any of the other rickettsial antigens, allowing us to consider that these dogs were infected by R. parkeri. Dogs that had direct contact with pasture or forest areas were > 2 times more likely to be seroreactive to Rickettsia than dogs with no such direct contact. Only 19 (4.8%) of the 389 dogs were seroreactive to E. canis.

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