Autochthonous, zoonotic Onchocerca lupi in a South Texas dog, United States
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BACKGROUND: Onchocerca lupi is an emerging, zoonotic filarioid nematode associated with ocular disease in companion animals in North America and the Old World. The areas where this parasite is assumed to be endemic in the USA comprise southwestern states. Thus far, all cases reported outside of the southwest are associated with travel or animal movement. METHODS: An 11-year-old, castrated male Pitbull dog from McAllen, Hidalgo County, southern Texas, with no travel history, was diagnosed with a perforating corneal ulceration of the right eye. Enucleation was performed and tissues submitted for histopathology. RESULTS: Histologically, sections of two filarioid nematodes were observed. DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue using a commercial kit. We performed PCR targeting the cox1 gene of the mitochondrial DNA, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. Altogether, these results confirmed the identification of the nematode specimens as O. lupi, phylogenetically belonging to haplotype 1. CONCLUSION: We report the first autochthonous case of O. lupi in a dog from Hidalgo County, southern Texas, USA. Our finding suggests Texas as an additional state where this zoonotic nematode is endemic. Further investigations are required to understand the epidemiology of this parasite along the USA/Mexico border.
author list (cited authors)
Verocai, G. G., Sobotyk, C., Lamison, A., Borst, M. M., & Edwards, E. E.