High incidence of Trypanosoma cruzi infections in dogs directly detected through longitudinal tracking at 10 multi-dog kennels, Texas, USA
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Canine Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is increasingly recognized as a health concern for dogs in the USA, and infected dogs may signal geographic regions of risk for human disease. Dogs living in multi-dog kennel environments (kennels with more than one dog) where triatomine vectors are endemic may be at high risk for infection. We monitored a cohort of 64 T. cruzi-infected and uninfected dogs across 10 kennels in Texas, USA, to characterize changes in infection status over one year. We used robust diagnostic criteria in which reactivity on multiple independent platforms was required to be considered positive. Among the 30 dogs enrolled as serologically- and/or PCR-positive, all but one dog showed sustained positive T. cruzi diagnostic results over time. Among the 34 dogs enrolled as serologically- and PCR-negative, 10 new T. cruzi infections were recorded over a 12-month period. The resulting incidence rate for dogs initially enrolled as T. cruzi-negative was 30.7 T. cruzi infections per 100 dogs per year. This study highlights the risk of T. cruzi infection to dogs in kennel environments. To protect both dog and human health, there is an urgent need to develop more integrated vector control methods as well as prophylactic and curative antiparasitic treatment options for T. cruzi infection in dogs.
author list (cited authors)
Busselman, R. E., Meyers, A. C., Zecca, I. B., Auckland, L. D., Castro, A. H., Dowd, R. E., ... Hamer, S. A.
complete list of authors
Busselman, Rachel E||Meyers, Alyssa C||Zecca, Italo B||Auckland, Lisa D||Castro, Andres H||Dowd, Rebecca E||Curtis-Robles, Rachel||Hodo, Carolyn L||Saunders, Ashley B||Hamer, Sarah A