Ticks and fleas are blood-sucking ectoparasites that cause irritation and anaemia to their hosts and act as vectors of pathogens (vector-borne pathogens, VBPs) of relevance for animal and human health. In the present study, tick and flea species in dogs and cats from Cyprus were recorded and VBPs were detected in the collected specimens. Ectoparasites were collected from 220 animals (161 dogs and 59 cats), and a questionnaire including demographic, clinical, and other information was filled out for each animal. The ectoparasites were morphologically identified and the detection of VBPs was performed by PCR-coupled sequencing. Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato was found on 108 dogs and 13 cats, and Ixodes gibbosus on 2 dogs. Ctenocephalides felis was the predominant flea species (on 62 dogs and 45 cats), while one dog and one cat were infested by Ctenocephalides canis and Echidnophaga gallinacea, respectively. The VBPs in ticks were Anaplasma platys, Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia conorii, Rickettsia felis, Hepatozoon felis and Hepatozoon canis, while Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia sp., Bartonella koehlerae, Bartonella clarridgeiae, and Bartonella henselae were recorded in fleas. Statistical analysis (chi-square test and multiple univariate generalized linear model) showed that animals up to 6 months of age were less likely to be infested with ticks than older animals, but more likely to be infested with fleas. Ticks were more prevalent in sheltered than in owned animals, while the odds ratio of flea presence was higher in owned animals than those living in shelters. The present study is the first investigation on the occurrence of ticks and fleas in dogs and cats from Cyprus, showing the presence of different VBPs in these important ectoparasites. The results point out the importance of systematic ectoparasite control in dogs and cats.

Ticks, Fleas, and Harboured Pathogens from Dogs and Cats in Cyprus

Diakou A.;Paoletti B.;Dimzas D.;Morelli S.;Traversa D.
2022-01-01

Abstract

Ticks and fleas are blood-sucking ectoparasites that cause irritation and anaemia to their hosts and act as vectors of pathogens (vector-borne pathogens, VBPs) of relevance for animal and human health. In the present study, tick and flea species in dogs and cats from Cyprus were recorded and VBPs were detected in the collected specimens. Ectoparasites were collected from 220 animals (161 dogs and 59 cats), and a questionnaire including demographic, clinical, and other information was filled out for each animal. The ectoparasites were morphologically identified and the detection of VBPs was performed by PCR-coupled sequencing. Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato was found on 108 dogs and 13 cats, and Ixodes gibbosus on 2 dogs. Ctenocephalides felis was the predominant flea species (on 62 dogs and 45 cats), while one dog and one cat were infested by Ctenocephalides canis and Echidnophaga gallinacea, respectively. The VBPs in ticks were Anaplasma platys, Rickettsia massiliae, Rickettsia conorii, Rickettsia felis, Hepatozoon felis and Hepatozoon canis, while Rickettsia felis, Rickettsia sp., Bartonella koehlerae, Bartonella clarridgeiae, and Bartonella henselae were recorded in fleas. Statistical analysis (chi-square test and multiple univariate generalized linear model) showed that animals up to 6 months of age were less likely to be infested with ticks than older animals, but more likely to be infested with fleas. Ticks were more prevalent in sheltered than in owned animals, while the odds ratio of flea presence was higher in owned animals than those living in shelters. The present study is the first investigation on the occurrence of ticks and fleas in dogs and cats from Cyprus, showing the presence of different VBPs in these important ectoparasites. The results point out the importance of systematic ectoparasite control in dogs and cats.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11575/141983
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