Publications by authors named "Donato Traversa"

182 Publications

Do All Roads Lead to Rome? The Potential of Different Approaches to Diagnose Infection in Cats.

Pathogens 2021 May 14;10(5). Epub 2021 May 14.

Institute for Parasitology, Centre for Infection Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, 30559 Hannover, Germany.

An infection with the cat lungworm, , can be subclinical, but it can also cause severe respiratory clinical signs. Larvae excretion, antibody levels, clinical assessment findings of the respiratory system and diagnostic imaging findings were recorded and compared for six cats with experimental aelurostrongylosis. In five cats, patency started 33-47 days post infection (pi), but two cats excreted larvae only in long intervals and low numbers. Positive ELISA results were observed in four cats with patent aelurostrongylosis, starting between five days before and 85 days after onset of patency. One seropositive cat remained copromicroscopically negative. Mild respiratory signs were observed in all cats examined. A computed tomographic (CT) examination of the lungs displayed distinct alterations, even in absence of evident clinical signs or when larvae excretion was low or negative. The thoracic radiograph evaluation correlated with the CT results, but CT was more distinctive. After anthelmintic treatment in the 25th week post infection, pulmonary imaging findings improved back to normal within 6-24 weeks. This study shows that a multifaceted approach, including diagnostic imaging, can provide a clearer diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression. Furthermore, a CT examination provides an alternative to examination and worm counts in anthelmintic efficacy studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050602DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8157210PMC
May 2021

Endoparasites of European Wildcats () in Greece.

Pathogens 2021 May 13;10(5). Epub 2021 May 13.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Teaching Veterinary Hospital, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

The European wildcat () is the only wild felid living in Greece. Wildcat populations are declining due to anthropogenic and phenological unfavourable conditions, and parasites may have an additional negative impact. In the present study, the occurrence of endoparasites in wildcats in Greece and the potential threats posed to wildcats, domestic animals, and humans in the study areas has been investigated. In a six-year period, 23 road-killed wildcats and 62 wildcat faecal samples were collected from different areas of the country. Necropsy for the detection of endoparasites and standard parasitological examinations of faecal samples were performed. Parasites were morphologically identified and, in selected cases, molecularly analysed. All necropsied wildcats (100%) were infected by three to 10 different parasite taxa, with the most prevalent being (73.9%), (60.9%), (56.5%), (39.1%), spp. (34.8%), (34.8%), and (33.8%). Of the 62 faecal samples examined, 53 (85.5%) were positive for one or more parasite elements (larvae, eggs, or oocysts). The most frequent were (45.2%), (29%), (24.2%), and Ancylostomatidae (17.7%). This is the first survey on endoparasites affecting wildcats in Greece. Some of the parasites here found are frequent in domestic and wild felids, while others, i.e., and , were described for the first time in the European wildcat. Most of them have a significant pathogenic potential, causing severe to hazardous diseases to infected felids and some, under specific circumstances, can also threaten human health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050594DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8153176PMC
May 2021

Credelio® Plus: a novel oral endectocide for dogs.

Authors:
Donato Traversa

Parasit Vectors 2021 May 28;14(1):286. Epub 2021 May 28.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Teaching Veterinary Hospital, Località Piano D'Accio Snc, 64100, Teramo, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04774-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8161950PMC
May 2021

Exposure to Major Vector-Borne Diseases in Dogs Subjected to Different Preventative Regimens in Endemic Areas of Italy.

Pathogens 2021 Apr 23;10(5). Epub 2021 Apr 23.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) are globally widespread arthropod-transmitted diseases with a significant impact on animal and human health. Many drivers have recently spurred the geographic spread of VBDs in dogs. This study has evaluated the exposure to most important VBDs in dogs under different preventative treatments in different regions of Italy, i.e., Veneto, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Umbria, Giglio Island (Tuscany), Abruzzo and Latium. Serological analyses were performed to detect antibodies against , , /, , and the circulating antigen of Dogs were categorized according to the treatment schedule usually received, and the association between seropositivity and possible risk factors was statistically evaluated. Overall, 124/242 (51.2%) dogs tested positive for at least one pathogen, while 34 (14.0%) were exposed to two or more pathogens. The most detected seropositivity was against , followed by spp., , , and the other pathogens under study. Significant statistical associations were found according to geographical provenance, history of tick infestation, lifestyle and inadequate prophylactic treatments. Random/irregular treatments have been identified as a clear risk factor. These results show that adequate prophylactic treatment protocols are overlooked by dog owners, despite the availability of several effective products, with possible implications in veterinary medicine and on public health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10050507DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8146437PMC
April 2021

Cat Respiratory Nematodes: Current Knowledge, Novel Data and Warranted Studies on Clinical Features, Treatment and Control.

Pathogens 2021 Apr 10;10(4). Epub 2021 Apr 10.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

The nematodes , and are the most important parasites inhabiting the airways of cats. They are receiving growing attention from academia, pharmaceutical companies and veterinarians, and are now considered a primary cause of respiratory diseases in feline clinical practice and parasitology. In the past few years, several studies have been conducted in both natural and experimental settings to increase knowledge, provide new insights and fill gaps on respiratory parasitoses of cats. Awareness and knowledge of clinical scenarios towards appropriate and timely diagnosis and prompt and efficacious treatment options have become a priority to investigate. At the same time, chemopreventative approaches have been evaluated to assess the geographical spreading of these parasites and the rise in the number of clinical cases in cat populations of different countries. Given the intense accumulation of novel data, this review presents and discusses the state of the art and the latest updates on the clinical features, treatment, and control of major respiratory parasitoses of cats. Moreover, food for thought is also provided with the aim of spurring on new studies in the near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10040454DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8069686PMC
April 2021

Efficacy of milbemycin oxime/afoxolaner chewable tablets (NEXGARD SPECTRA) against Capillaria aerophila and Capillaria boehmi in naturally infected dogs.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Mar 6;14(1):143. Epub 2021 Mar 6.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100, Teramo, Italy.

Background: Capillaria aerophila and Capillaria boehmi parasitize the respiratory system of wild and domestic carnivores. Capillaria aerophila inhabits the trachea and bronchi of dogs and cats, while C. boehmi affects the nasal cavities and sinuses of dogs. In dogs the infection may be subclinical or characterized by varying respiratory distress.

Methods: The present study evaluated the efficacy of an oral formulation containing milbemycin oxime and afoxolaner (NEXGARD SPECTRA) in dogs naturally infected with C. aerophila and/or C. boehmi from three enzootic areas of Italy. Dogs were enrolled pending fecal examination and molecular confirmation of respiratory capillarioses. Dogs were allocated in two groups: Group 1 (G1, 25 dogs), treated with a negative control product with no anthelmintic activity (afoxolaner, NEXGARD), and Group 2 (G2, 26 dogs), treated with NEXGARD SPECTRA. At the day of treatment administration (Day 0), all dogs were clinically examined. Dogs were again subjected to clinical and fecal examinations at Days 28 (± 4) and 56 (± 2). The primary criterion for treatment efficacy was the reduction of fecal Capillaria egg counts in G2 compared with G1. The regression of/recovery from baseline clinical signs was considered as a further efficacy criterion.

Results: Percentage reduction of fecal Capillaria egg counts in the NEXGARD SPECTRA group compared to the control group was > 97% on Day 28 and 100% on Day 56, respectively (p < 0.05 for both time points). Twelve of the 13 dogs in the NEXGARD SPECTRA group with respiratory signs prior to treatment were free of clinical signs at the end of the study. Conversely, the six control group dogs with respiratory signs prior to treatment remained symptomatic.

Conclusions: Results of the present study showed that NEXGARD SPECTRA® was safe and highly efficacious in the reduction of C. aerophila and C. boehmi eggs after one treatment with a complete reduction of the egg output after the second administration associated with a recovery from respiratory signs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04648-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937313PMC
March 2021

Efficacy of Bravecto Plus spot-on solution for cats (280 mg/ml fluralaner and 14 mg/ml moxidectin) for the prevention of aelurostrongylosis in experimentally infected cats.

Parasit Vectors 2021 Feb 16;14(1):110. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Institute for Parasitology, Centre for Infection Medicine, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hanover, Germany.

Background: The feline lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus affects the lower respiratory tract in cats worldwide. As infections may lead to chronic respiratory changes or even death, preventive treatment in cats with outdoor access is warranted.

Methods: The preventive efficacy of a spot-on solution (Bravecto® Plus spot-on solution for cats, MSD) against cat aelurostrongylosis was evaluated using three different preventive treatment regimes in a negative controlled, randomized and partially blinded laboratory efficacy study with 31 purposed-bred cats. The minimum recommended dose of 2.0 mg moxidectin + 40 mg fluralaner/kg bodyweight was applied once 12 (Group [G]1), 8 (G2) or 4 (G3) weeks before experimental infection with 300 third-stage larvae (L3) of A. abstrusus. Another group served as untreated control (G4). Individual faecal samples were analysed as of day 30 post infection (pi) to monitor larvae excretion. Necropsy was performed at days 47-50 pi. The lungs were examined macroscopically for pathological findings and (pre-)adult worms were counted to assess preventive efficacy.

Results: Beginning at day 32-40 pi, all cats of the control group were constantly shedding larvae of A. abstrusus, whereas only one animal of G1 excreted larvae at several consecutive days. In addition, two cats of G1 and G3 and three of G2 were positive on a single occasion. The geometric mean (GM) of the maximum number of excreted larvae was 7574.29 in the control group compared to 1.10 (G1), 1.19 (G2) and 0.53 (G3), resulting in a GM reduction of > 99.9% in all treatment groups. All lungs of the control animals showed severe or very severe alterations at necropsy, while in 94.44% of the treated cats lung pathology was rated as absent or mild. The GM number of (pre-)adult A. abstrusus retrieved from the lungs was 26.57 in the control group, 0.09 in G1 and 0.00 in G2 and G3. Thus, GM worm count reduction was 99.66% in G1 and 100% in G2 and G3.

Conclusions: A single application of Bravecto® Plus spot-on solution at a dose of 2.0 mg moxidectin + 40 mg fluralaner/kg bodyweight reliably prevents cat aelurostrongylosis for at least 12 weeks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-021-04610-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7885211PMC
February 2021

An Unusual Case of Mixed Respiratory Capillariosis in a Dog.

Pathogens 2021 Jan 23;10(2). Epub 2021 Jan 23.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Nematodes belonging to the genus infect a range of domestic and wild animals. and cause respiratory parasitoses in dogs and wild carnivores, e.g., foxes and mustelids, although they are often overlooked in canine clinical practice. The present report describes an unusual case of a severe and mixed infection by and in a privately housed dog that showed acute and life-threatening respiratory and neurological signs. Clinic-pathologic and epizootiological implications are described and discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10020117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911517PMC
January 2021

Felid Cardiopulmonary Nematodes: Dilemmas Solved and New Questions Posed.

Pathogens 2021 Jan 2;10(1). Epub 2021 Jan 2.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece.

In the past decade cardiopulmonary nematodes affecting felids have become a core research topic in small animal parasitology. In the late 2000s, an increase in studies was followed by unexpected findings in the early 2010s, which have stimulated research teams to start investigating these intriguing parasites. Prolific scientific debate and exchanges have then fostered field and laboratory studies and epi-zootiological surveys. New data have improved basic and applied knowledge, solved dilemmas and posed new questions. This article discusses the past and present background to felid cardiopulmonary nematodes after the last few years of intense scientific research. New data which have demonstrated the key role of and in causing respiratory infections in domestic cats, and on the nil to negligible current importance of other species, i.e., , and , are presented. Biological information and hypothesized alternative routes of infection are analysed and discussed. Novel identification and taxonomical data and issues are reported and commented upon. On the whole, recent biological, ecological and epi-zootiological information on felid meta-strongyloids is critically analysed, with the aim to answer outstanding questions, stimulate future studies, and underline new research perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10010030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7824321PMC
January 2021

Seroprevalence in Cats From Touristic Areas of Italy and Greece.

Front Vet Sci 2020 11;7:616566. Epub 2020 Dec 11.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Leishmaniosis by is a major zoonotic Vector-Borne Disease (VBD) in terms of geographic distribution, pathogenicity and zoonotic potential. While dogs are the main reservoir of , the infection in cats is poorly understood although increasingly reported from enzootic and non-enzootic areas. The Mediterranean basin is a key area for leishmaniosis and includes touristic spots that require continuous surveillance for VBDs in consideration of the growing tendency of tourists to travel with their pets. This study evaluated seroprevalence in cats living in selected touristic localities of Italy and Greece. A total of 269 cat serum samples from three Sites i.e., 76, 40, and 153 from Adriatic Coast of Abruzzo, Italy (Site A), Giglio Island, Tuscany, Italy (Site B), and Mykonos Island, Greece (Site C), respectively, were included in the survey. Sera samples were subjected to an indirect immunofluorescence antibody assay for the detection of anti- specific IgG. Associations between possible risk factors and seropositivity to were statistically evaluated. Antibodies against were detected in eight out of 269 (3.0%) cats tested i.e., 4/76 (5.3%), 1/40 (2.5%), and 3/153 (2.0%), from sites A, B, and C, respectively. A statistical association between anti- antibodies and cohabitation with dogs was shown. This study indicates that feline populations living in the examined Italian and Greek touristic areas are exposed to and that they may contribute to the circulation of , enhancing the risk of infection for dogs and humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.616566DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759650PMC
December 2020

Detection of spp., and in Gastropods in Eastern Austria.

Pathogens 2020 Dec 13;9(12). Epub 2020 Dec 13.

Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Parasitology, University of Veterinary Medicine, 1210 Vienna, Austria.

Canine and feline cardiorespiratory parasites are of utmost relevance in veterinary medicine. Key epizootiological information on major pet metastrongyloids, i.e., and infecting dogs, and and infecting cats, is missing from Austria. This study investigated their occurrence in 1320 gastropods collected in the Austrian provinces of Styria, Burgenland, Lower Austria, and in metropolitan Vienna. Metastrongyloid larvae were microscopically detected in 25 samples, and sequence analysis confirmed the presence of metastrongyloids in nine samples, i.e., in one slug () (0.07%), in five slugs (one and four ) (0.4%), in two (0.17%), and the hedgehog lungworm was detected in one . The present study confirms the enzooticity of major cardiorespiratory nematodes in Austria and that canine and feline populations are at risk of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9121046DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7764228PMC
December 2020

Fatal Pulmonary Hypertension and Right-Sided Congestive Heart Failure in a Kitten Infected with .

Animals (Basel) 2020 Dec 1;10(12). Epub 2020 Dec 1.

Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Pisa, Viale delle Piagge n. 2, 56124 Pisa, Italy.

is considered the most important respiratory nematode of domestic cats worldwide. This parasite inhabits the alveoli, alveolar ducts, and bronchioles and causes a subacute to chronic respiratory clinical disease. Clinical signs may occur in domestic cats of any age, though they are more often described in young animals. Physical examination, echocardiography, thoracic radiography, pulmonary and cardiac pathological findings, classical, and molecular parasitological analysis of a six-month-old kitten referred at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Pisa (Italy) led to a diagnosis of parasitic bronchopneumonia caused by , which was complicated by severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) and right-sided congestive heart failure (R-CHF) that caused the death of the animal. Cases of reversible PH associated with infection have been seldom reported in cats. This is the first report of fatal PH and R-CHF in a kitten with clinical aelurostrongylosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10122263DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7759851PMC
December 2020

First record of Hepatozoon spp. in domestic cats in Greece.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2021 01 6;12(1):101580. Epub 2020 Oct 6.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teaching Veterinary Hospital, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy. Electronic address:

Feline hepatozoonosis is an emerging disease of domestic and wild felids though there is limited knowledge of this infection, e.g. regarding geographical distribution and parasite species involved. The present study evaluated microscopically and molecularly the occurrence of Hepatozoon spp. in domestic cats from insular (Crete, Mykonos and Skopelos) and continental (prefectures of Attica and Thessaloniki) Greece. Out of 282 cats examined, 72 (25.5 %) scored positive by PCR for Hepatozoon spp. and of them, 9 (12.5 %) showed gamonts on the blood smear microscopic examination. Sequences obtained from 35 of the amplicons proved the presence of two haplotypes of Hepatozoon felis. One, herein called H1 (34/35 amplicons) resulted 100 % identical with H. felis from Italy and isolates from other continents, and ∼98 % similar with a H. felis isolate causing severe clinical signs in Austria. The haplotype H2, found in a cat in Skopelos, had ∼94 % identity with H1, with H. felis isolates from Italy, Israel, Spain, a ∼92 % identity with the isolate from Austria, and ∼94-98 % with isolates from South Africa. These are the first records of H. felis in cat populations from Greece and indicate that the infection may be present at high prevalences in different regions of the country. Furthermore, the results of the molecular and phylogenetic analysis support a recent hypothesis indicating the existence of a species-complex classification for H. felis. Further studies aiming at elucidating the genetic make-up of Hepatozoon populations and possible variations in terms of geographic distribution and clinical relevance are necessary. The importance of a continuous epizootiological monitoring is crucial for the establishment of preventative and control measures protecting the health of cats living in or travelling to enzootic areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2020.101580DOI Listing
January 2021

Comparative Analysis of Intestinal Helminth Infections in Colic and Non-Colic Control Equine Patients.

Animals (Basel) 2020 Oct 19;10(10). Epub 2020 Oct 19.

Institut für Parasitologie und Tropenveterinärmedizin, Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin, Freie Universität Berlin, 14163 Berlin, Germany.

All around the world, intestinal helminths constitute one of the most prevalent life-long occurring infections and re-infections affecting all horse age groups. A range of parasite species among strongyles, ascarids, and tapeworms is known to have the potential to cause colic in horses. However, there is a lack of current scientific evidence on the actual relevance of helminth infection levels in the context of colic in horses kept during prevailing epidemiological conditions. Thus, a prospective case-control study on the occurrence of intestinal helminths in a total of 620 mainly adult equine clinic patients was conducted to investigate the association between colic and helminth infection. For each horse, a range of copromicroscopic, serological, and clinical data was obtained, in addition to a questionnaire on relevant anamnestic data, including previous anthelmintic treatment and husbandry. Using a FLOTAC-based copromicroscopic diagnosis, the highest infection rates were seen for strongyles (41.8%), followed by and spp. (both 0.8%), with no significant difference between the two study groups. Employing a real-time PCR a 1.1% DNA prevalence was found. Considerably higher seroprevalences were observed using and ELISAs, with 32.3% and 10.7%, respectively. It was noteworthy that no association concerning either serologic status was encountered with colic status. The shedding of strongyle eggs was associated with a 1.8-times increased risk of seropositivity. Recent anthelmintic treatment was associated with the onset of colic, as animals who had received an anthelmintic during the previous week had a 2.4-times higher risk of signs of colic compared to those who had been treated at least eight weeks prior. Another noteworthy observation was that ponies were significantly less often affected by colic than warmbloods. The high and considerable seroprevalences encountered in this investigation should prompt veterinarians, farm managers, and horse owners to maintain consequent and effective worm control measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani10101916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603170PMC
October 2020

Feline lungworms in Greece: copromicroscopic, molecular and serological study.

Parasitol Res 2020 Sep 4;119(9):2877-2883. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Località Piano D'Accio snc, 64100, Teramo, Italy.

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) causes verminous pneumonia in cats worldwide. This study evaluated the seroprevalence of A. abstrusus antibodies in 220 stray and free-roaming cats from insular (Mykonos, Crete, Skopelos) and continental (Thessaloniki, Attica) Greece. The results were compared with morphological and biomolecular identification of first-stage larvae (L1) in faeces. Positive cats were observed in all 5 areas: 13/97 (13.4%), 1/32 (3.1%), 7/26 (26.9%), 3/18 (16.7%) and 5/47 (10.6%) cats tested positive for A. abstrusus L1 by Baermann examination, and 33/97 (34.0%), 7/32 (21.9%), 6/26 (23.1%), 3/18 (16.7%) and 11/47 (23.4%) were seropositive, in Mykonos, Crete, Skopelos, Thessaloniki and Attica, respectively. Troglostrongylus brevior L1 were found in 12/97 (12.4%), 3/26 (11.5%) and 2/47 (4.3%) cats from Mykonos, Skopelos and Attica respectively. Six of the 220 cats (2.7%), i.e. 4/97 (4.1%) from Mykonos and 2/26 (7.7%) from Skopelos, shed L1 of both A. abstrusus and T. brevior. Sixty samples were ELISA-positive (27.3%, 95% CI: 21.5-33.7%), of which 21 (35%) tested copromicroscopically positive (19 monospecific infections and 2 mixed with Troglostrongylus brevior), and 5 were positive for T. brevior L1 only. Among seronegative cats (n = 140), L1 of A. abstrusus were additionally detected in 8 (5.7% out of 140) cats (i.e. 4 monospecific infections and 4 mixed with T. brevior), and in 6 (4.3% out of 140) cats, L1 of T. brevior as monospecific infection were detected. This study confirms the presence of lungworms in Greece and suggests that the number of cats infected with/exposed to metastrongylids is higher than detected by faecal examinations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00436-020-06839-5DOI Listing
September 2020

Habronematidosis in Equids: Current Status, Advances, Future Challenges.

Front Vet Sci 2020 3;7:358. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Department of Science of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.

Over the past few decades, among equine parasitoses caused by gastrointestinal nematodes, habronematidosis has been discontinuously studied worldwide. Habronematidosis is a parasitic disease distributed all over the world. It is caused by , and (Spirurida, Habronematidae), and it is maintained in the environment by muscid flies which act as intermediate hosts. At larval and adult stages these species live in the stomach of domestic and wild equids. However, the larvae can also be found on the skin, causing lesions known as "summer sores", and occasionally on other body areas, such as ocular and genital mucosa (muco-cutaneous habronematidosis) and lung, liver, brain parenchyma. Depending on the parasite's developmental stage and localization site, clinical signs vary from mild to severe. Habronematidosis is responsible for significant economic losses, mostly when sport horses are affected, because their performances are impaired and the infection can be unaesthetic. We used three on-line databases for searching the articles on habronematidosis according to the selected inclusion criteria; a total of 250 contributions, published between 1911 and 2020 were analyzed. This review summarizes the key features of pathogenesis, epizootiology, diagnosis, treatment, and control of habronematidosis, and highlights the current knownledge about its geographical distribution and spread. Anthelmintic drugs are the most widely-used tools against habronematidosis; given the known risk of anthelmintic resistance in some nematodes affecting horses, this aspect should also be explored for habronematidosis. Dedicated research is essential to fill gaps of knowledge and increase the understanding of habronematidosis to maximize equine health, reduce economic losses and sanitary impact associated with this parasitic infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00358DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7347746PMC
July 2020

Intermediate gastropod hosts of major feline cardiopulmonary nematodes in an area of wildcat and domestic cat sympatry in Greece.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Jul 10;13(1):345. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Background: The metastrongyloid nematodes Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, Troglostrongylus brevior and Angiostrongylus chabaudi are cardiopulmonary parasites affecting domestic cats (Felis catus) and wildcats (Felis silvestris). Although knowledge on these nematodes has been improved in the past years, gaps in our knowledge of their distribution and role of gastropods as intermediate hosts in Europe still exist. This study reports on the presence of these nematodes and their intermediate hosts in an area in Greece where domestic cats and wildcats occur in sympatry.

Methods: Terrestrial gastropods were collected in the field and identified morphologically and by mitochondrial DNA-sequence analysis. Metastrongyloid larvae were detected by artificial digestion, morphologically identified to the species and stage level and their identity was molecularly confirmed.

Results: Aelurostrongylus abstrusus was found in the snails Massylaea vermiculata and Helix lucorum, T. brevior in the slug Tandonia sp., and A. chabaudi in the slug Limax sp. and the snails H. lucorum and M. vermiculata.

Conclusions: To the best of our knowledge this study provides the first reports of (i) terrestrial gastropods being naturally infected with A. chabaudi, (ii) T. brevior naturally infecting terrestrial gastropods in Europe, and (iii) A. abstrusus naturally infecting terrestrial gastropods in Greece. Furthermore, the present study describes for the first time developmental stages of A. chabaudi and T. brevior in naturally infected gastropods. The biological characteristics of various intermediate gastropod hosts that could influence the distribution and expansion of feline cardiopulmonary nematodes are discussed, along with epizootiological implications and perspectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04213-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7350685PMC
July 2020

The effect of the hibernation on the larval development of Troglostrongylus brevior in the land snail Cornu aspersum.

Vet Parasitol 2020 Jun 27;282:109123. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Italy.

Troglostrongylus brevior, a lungworm affecting wild felids, has been increasingly reported in domestic cats from Europe. Troglostrongylosis is a relevant disease that may result in a potentially life-threatening bronchopneumonia, especially in kittens. The life cycle of T. brevior is indirect with terrestrial gastropods acting as intermediate host. The widely distributed spread land snail Cornu aspersum (former Helix aspersa) is competent for T. brevior development and may transmit the nematode in natural conditions. The present study evaluated the larval development of T. brevior in C. aspersum at two different environmental temperature conditions, with a focus on the effect of hibernation. One hundred and seventy snails were infected with 500 first stage larvae (L1) of T. brevior and kept in vivaria at 25 ± 2 °C. Fifteen days post infection (p.i.), 20 specimens were digested to evaluate the overall larval developmental rate from L1 to L3 (2.5 % on days 15 p.i.) and then the snails were divided in two groups, i.e. G1 kept at 25 ± 2 °C and G2 that were hibernated at 4 ± 2 °C. The developmental rate of T. brevior was evaluated in these groups on 30 and 60 days p.i. by snail digestion at each time-point. An additional batch of 40 snails (G2-1) was hibernated on D15 and digested on D60. Larvae recovered were morphologically and morphometrically examined. The infective third larval stage (L3) was detected in the muscular foot of C. aspersum at different rates depending on the environmental temperature. In particular, T. brevior showed a higher developmental rate in hibernated snails (G2: 6.9 % and 14.1 % on days 30 and 60 p.i; G2-1: 4%; G2 + G2-1 overall mean percentage: 9%) compared to non-hibernated snails (G1: 4% and 5.2 % on days 30 and 60 p.i.), indicating that lower temperatures may positively influence the developmental in C. aspersum. These data are suggestive for a seasonal pattern of T. brevior infections under field conditions, with snails containing higher parasitic burdens after their natural hibernation occurring in winter. Studies on the larval development of T. brevior in other mollusc species in field surveys evaluating differences in developmental rates and transmission patterns in different seasons are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2020.109123DOI Listing
June 2020

Is Angiostrongylosis a Realistic Threat for Domestic Cats?

Front Vet Sci 2020 15;7:195. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Three species of have been found in felids thus far, i.e., and . lives in the right heart and pulmonary arteries of the definitive natural host, the European wildcat (), and non-patent infections have been reported in domestic cats (). , described in the Puma yaguarondi (), has never been reported in domestic felids, while recently a non-patent infection by was unequivocally described in a . Nonetheless, epizootiological and clinical relevance of angiostrongylosis in domestic cats are practically unknown. This study investigated whether cases of angiostrongylosis may be missed in cats living in areas enzootic for spp. and other metastrongyloids. Overall, 100 cats that were either positive (n.50) or negative (n.50) for metastrongyloid larvae at the Baermann's test, were examined for spp. with DNA-based methods and with the serological test Angio Detect™ for circulating antigen. The PCR analysis confirmed the copromicroscopy results, where 25 cats scored positive for , 16 for and 9 for both, while no cats were positive for -like larvae, including . None of the 100 sera samples scored positive at the Angio Detect™ test. These data suggest that currently feline angiostrongylosis is a minor parasitosis for domestic cats. Nevertheless, it cannot be excluded that the epizootiological drivers which have favored the spillover of and from wildlife to dogs and cats, could promote the emergence of feline angiostrongylosis, with an unpredictable health impact.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2020.00195DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174740PMC
April 2020

Clinical investigations and treatment outcome in a European wildcat (Felis silvestris silvestris) infected by cardio-pulmonary nematodes.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2020 01 27;19:100357. Epub 2019 Nov 27.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teaching Veterinary Hospital, Teramo 64100, Italy. Electronic address:

Recently, feline cardio-pulmonary nematodes have attracted high scientific interest, as they are increasingly reported from various areas. Most of these parasites have similar transmission patterns and/or host reservoirs, thus they may affect domestic and wild felids living in sympatry. In the present study, a case of multiple cardio-pulmonary parasitism in co-infection with other parasites in a European wildcat is presented. The animal, found exhausted, was hospitalised for recovery and parasitological, haematological, clinical and imaging examinations were performed. The parasitological examinations revealed 4 cardio-pulmonary nematodes, i.e. Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, Troglostrongylus brevior, Eucoleus aerophilus, Angiostrongylus chabaudi, 3 intestinal parasites, i.e. Toxocara cati, ancylostomatids, Cystoisospora felis, 2 haemoparasites, i.e. Hepatozoon felis and elements morphologically compatible with small Babesia/Cytauxzoon spp., and Ixodes ricinus and Haemaphysalis erinacei ticks. Treatment with a spot-on formulation containing imidacloprid 10% and moxidectin 1% (Advocate® spot-on solution for cats, Bayer) was decided and follow-up faecal examinations were performed until the release of the animal. By the end of the hospitalisation, all metazoan endoparasites were no longer detectable in faecal examinations, with the exception of a low number of A. abstrusus larvae. Thus, the animal was released after a second treatment with the same product. This is the first description of an apparently successful treatment of multiple cardio-respiratory parasitosis in a naturally infected wildcat showing compatible clinical signs. The evidence that Advocate® may be effective against A. chabaudi could be useful for treating infected, hospitalised, wildcats and it is promising in the case A. chabaudi infection will spread to domestic cats in a near future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100357DOI Listing
January 2020

Efficacy of imidacloprid 10%/moxidectin 1% spot-on formulation (Advocate®) in the prevention and treatment of feline aelurostrongylosis.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Feb 12;13(1):65. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Bayer Animal Health GmbH, Leverkusen, Germany.

Background: In three randomized, controlled laboratory efficacy studies, the efficacy in the prevention of patent infections of a topical combination of imidacloprid 10%/moxidectin 1% (Advocate® spot-on formulation for cats, Bayer Animal Health GmbH) against larval stages and immature adults of Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, as well as the treatment efficacy of a single or three monthly treatments against adult A. abstrusus, were evaluated.

Methods: Cats were experimentally inoculated with 300-800 third-stage larvae (L3). Each group comprised 8 animals and the treatment dose was 10 mg/kg bodyweight (bw) imidacloprid and 1 mg/kg bw moxidectin in each study. Prevention of the establishment of patent infections was evaluated by two treatments at a monthly interval at three different time points before and after challenge infection. Curative efficacy was tested by one or three treatments after the onset of patency. Worm counts at necropsy were used for efficacy calculations.

Results: In Study 1, the control group had a geometric mean (GM) of 28.8 adult nematodes and the single treatment group had a GM of 3.4 (efficacy 88.3%). In Study 2, the control group had a GM of 14.3, the prevention group had a GM of 0 (efficacy 100%), while the treatment group had a GM of 0.1 (efficacy 99.4%). In Study 3, the GM worm burden in the control group was 32.6 compared to 0 in all three prevention groups (efficacy 100% for all of those groups).

Conclusions: The monthly administration of Advocate® reliably eliminated early larval stages and thereby prevented lung damage from and patent infections with A. abstrusus in cats. Regarding treatment, a single application of Advocate® reduced the worm burden, but it did not sufficiently clear the infection. In contrast, three monthly treatments were safe and highly efficacious against A. abstrusus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-3937-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017503PMC
February 2020

Controlled field study evaluating the clinical efficacy of a topical formulation containing emodepside and praziquantel in the treatment of natural cat aelurostrongylosis.

Vet Rec 2020 Sep 21;187(5):e34. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Background: is the most important nematode affecting the respiratory tract of cats in terms of prevalence and clinical relevance. The aim of this randomised controlled field study was to confirm the efficacy of the spot-on containing emodepside/praziquantel (Profender, Bayer Animal Health) in the treatment of aelurostrongylosis.

Methods: Seventeen cats with aelurostrongylosis and presenting with clinical and/or radiographic signs were included in the study. Eight cats received two biweekly doses of emodepside/praziquantel, while nine cats were allocated to a control group and received a rescue treatment at the end of the study. Clinical response was the primary outcome, while the secondary end point was the reduction of larval shedding in faeces.

Results: Two weeks after the first application, the cats showed a significant, though partial, recovery of clinical signs with complete clinical and parasitological resolution. The resolution of inflammatory leucogram and a significant reduction of radiographic lesions were observed two weeks after the second treatment. Red blood cells and albumin values significantly increased after eight weeks from the second application, together with the complete regression of radiographic patterns.

Conclusion: Two applications of this spot-on solution two weeks apart assured complete cessation of larval shedding and led to a complete clinical, clinicopathological and radiographic recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vr.105528DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7509393PMC
September 2020

Efficacy of a moxidectin/imidacloprid spot-on formulation (Advocate) for the treatment of Troglostrongylus brevior in naturally infected cats in a field study in Greece.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Nov 4;12(1):519. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Località Piano D'Accio snc., 64100, Teramo, Italy.

Background: Troglostrongylus brevior is a lungworm of wild felids that recently has been recognized as agent of severe respiratory disease in domestic cats in Mediterranean and Balkan countries. Nevertheless, the information on treatment options for feline troglostrongylosis is still poor. The aim of this pilot field trial was to evaluate the efficacy of the spot-on formulation containing 1% w/v moxidectin and 10% w/v imidacloprid (Advocate spot-on solution for cats, Bayer Animal Health GmbH) in the treatment of T. brevior infection in naturally infected cats in Greece.

Methods: The trial was a negative control, multicentre, clinical efficacy study conducted according to the standards of Good Scientific Practice (GSP). Sixteen cats in two study sites, naturally infected with T. brevior, were allocated to an untreated control group (G1, n = 8) or a treatment group (G2, n = 8), according to a randomization list. Animals assigned to G2 were treated with Advocate for cats on days 0 and 28 at the recommended dose rate and animals assigned to G1 received a rescue treatment with the same product on days 56 and 84. Efficacy was assessed on days 28 and 56 in G2 and on days 84 and 112 in G1 by faecal larval counts. The primary efficacy criterion was the absence of T. brevior first-stage larvae (L1) following treatment. Other efficacy parameters were the quantitative comparison of L1 presence before (baseline) and after one or two treatments in both groups.

Results: All G2 cats were negative for T. brevior L1 at the first post-treatment evaluation (100% efficacy) while G1 cats were persistently shedding L1. The difference of the mean number of L1 per gram between G2 and G1 was statistically significant (P < 0.001). All G1 cats were negative (100% efficacy) for T. brevior L1 at the first post-rescue-treatment evaluation. Therefore, treatment efficacy at study completion was 100% in both groups in terms of stopping the L1 shedding in the faeces of the animals. No adverse effects were observed during the study.

Conclusions: These results indicate that Advocate spot-on solution for cats represents an option for treating cats naturally infected with T. brevior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3760-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6829829PMC
November 2019

Contamination of Italian parks with canine helminth eggs and health risk perception of the public.

Prev Vet Med 2019 Nov 5;172:104788. Epub 2019 Oct 5.

Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padua, Viale dell'Università 16, 35020, Legnaro (Padua), Italy. Electronic address:

The contamination of public areas by dog faeces is a social behaviour and public health problem. In fact, the most frequently isolated intestinal helminths in dogs are distributed worldwide, and most of them have zoonotic potential (i.e., ascarids and ancylostomatids). The aims of this survey were to evaluate citizen awareness of health risks for animals and humans related to canine faecal pollution and to estimate the presence and prevalence of intestinal helminths in dog faeces collected in green public areas in three municipalities of Italy (Padua, Rome and Teramo). The awareness of citizens about the health risks related to faecal pollution was evaluated using questionnaires submitted to 313 dog owners and 159 non-dog owners in Padua (n = 341) and Rome (n = 131). Most dog owners (85.4%) declared they picked up their dog's faeces every time, and these data were confirmed by operators secretly observing dog owners. Moreover, 84.3% participants were aware of the existence of a municipal regulation concerning the correct management of animals in public areas with no significant differences between dog owners and non-dog owners, whereas Rome citizens were significantly more aware than Padua citizens. Nonetheless, only 10.9% (51/469) of responders knew the health risks related to canine faecal pollution, with no significant differences between dog and non-dog owners. A total of 677 dog stool samples were collected and copromicroscopically analysed. Forty-eight (7.1%) samples were positive for at least one parasite species, with significantly lower prevalence values in Padua (2.2%) than in Rome (11.9%) and Teramo (8.6%). The highest prevalence was detected for Trichuris vulpis (4.4%), followed by Toxocara canis (1.9%); T. vulpis presented significantly lower prevalence in Padua than in the other cities. Other helminths were found with values under 0.5% in the investigated cities. This survey shows that most citizens are unaware of the health risk related to abandoned canine faeces on public soils. Nevertheless, laboratory results suggest a limited risk for dog and human health, but the zoonotic risk due to the high vitality of infective helminths eggs in the soil should always be considered.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2019.104788DOI Listing
November 2019

Exposure of client-owned cats to zoonotic vector-borne pathogens: Clinic-pathological alterations and infection risk analysis.

Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis 2019 Oct 9;66:101344. Epub 2019 Aug 9.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Teaching Veterinary Hospital, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy. Electronic address:

Zoonotic Vector-Borne Diseases (VBDs) represent a relevant health issue for pets and humans. Italy is a major epidemiological hub for feline VBDs, because of suitable conditions for vector biology and disease transmission patterns. The present study investigated the exposure to major zoonotic arthropod-borne pathogens of cats in Italy, along with the evaluation of clinic-pathological features and a risk factor analysis. Out of 167 examined cats, 52 (31.1%) were seropositive for at least one vector-borne pathogen, being positivity for Bartonella henselae the most recorded (18%). Also, various cats seroreacted for Rickettsia felis (10.8%) and Rickettisa typhi (4.2%), Leishmania infantum (3%), Anaplasma phagocytophilum (2.4%) and Ehrlichia canis (2.4%). Forty-six cats were tested also for antibodies against D. immitis and two (4.3%) scored positive. The statistical analysis showed a positive association between flea infestation and seropositivity to B. henselae, other than an association between the administration of monthly ectoparasiticide treatments and seronegativity for Rickettsia spp.; seropositive cats were older than negative animals and the lifestyle (i.e. indoor vs outdoor) was not correlated with exposure to vector-borne pathogens. The majority of seropositive cats appeared clinically healthy or showed aspecific clinical signs. Around 80% of seropositive cats had one or more biochemical and/or complete blood count abnormalities. The present data confirm the endemicity of zoonotic feline VBDs in Italy and indicate that awareness on arthropod infections and transmitted pathogens should be kept high and possible implemented, towards the protection of animal and human health with adequate surveillance plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cimid.2019.101344DOI Listing
October 2019

Seroprevalence of antibodies against the cat lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus in cats from endemic areas of Italy.

Vet Parasitol 2019 Aug 27;272:13-16. Epub 2019 Jun 27.

Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 266a, 8057, Zürich, Switzerland.

Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) is a worldwide occurring lungworm causing verminous pneumonia in cats. To date the Baermann method is the most used procedure to diagnose A. abstrusus infection by isolating first stage larvae from faeces, though its sensitivity and specificity can be impaired by several factors. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of antibodies against A. abstrusus has been recently developed as a diagnostic alternative. The present study evaluated the seroprevalence for A. abstrusus infection in cats from two endemic areas of Italy. Overall, 250 sera were sampled and tested for the presence of antibodies against A. abstrusus. Based on the results obtained from 20 cats proven to be infected by A. abstrusus using Baermann technique and molecular methods, and from 20 negative cats (Subset A), a cut off value of 0.347 optical density (OD) was determined, leading to a sensitivity of 95% and a specificity of 100%. Two-hundred and ten cats (142 and 68 from Abruzzo and Umbria regions, respectively) were included in Subset B (i.e. 202 negative by Baermann examination and 8 positive for Troglostrongylus brevior). Antibodies against A. abstrusus were detected in forty-five (21.4%, 95% CI: 16.1-27.6%) samples. This study confirms the occurrence of A. abstrusus in endemic areas of Italy and indicates that one-fifth of randomly selected cats have or had a lungworm infection with production of antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2019.06.017DOI Listing
August 2019

Endoparasites and vector-borne pathogens in dogs from Greek islands: Pathogen distribution and zoonotic implications.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 05 8;13(5):e0007003. Epub 2019 May 8.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Località Piano D'Accio snc., Teramo, Italy.

The present study investigated the presence of endo- and ecto-parasites, and vector-borne pathogens, in dogs from four islands of Greece. A total of 200 (123 owned and 77 sheltered) dogs were examined with different microscopic, serological and molecular methods. Of the examined dogs, 130 (65%) were positive for one or more parasites and/or vector-borne pathogens. The most common zoonotic intestinal helminths recorded were Ancylostomatidae (12.5%) and Toxocara canis (3.5%). Ninety-three dogs (46.5%) seroreacted to Rickettsia conorii. Twenty-two (11%) of them were also PCR positive and 7 (3.5%) showed corpuscles suggestive of Rickettsia spp. on the blood smears. Nineteen dogs (9.5%) were seropositive for Ehrlichia canis, three of them being also PCR positive. Dogs positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum-Anaplasma platys (1%), Dirofilaria immitis (0.5%) and Babesia canis (0.5%) were also found. Fleas and ticks were recorded in 53 (26.5%) and 50 (25%) dogs, respectively, and all specimens were identified as Ctenocephalides felis felis and Rhipicephalus sanguineus sensu lato. Binary multiple univariate Generalized Linear Models were used to investigate factors and clinical signs related to the recorded positivity, while the association of specific signs with the pathogens was evaluated using tests of independence. Knowledge of occurrence and impact of zoonotic parasites and vector-borne pathogens in dog populations is crucial to prevent the infection in animals and people, and to control the risk of spreading of these pathogens in endemic and non-endemic areas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6527238PMC
May 2019

Pilot study evaluating the efficacy of a topical formulation containing emodepside and praziquantel in the treatment of natural feline troglostrongylosis.

Parasit Vectors 2019 Mar 12;12(1):97. Epub 2019 Mar 12.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy.

Background: Troglostrongylus brevior, a lungworm usually affecting wild felids, has been recently recorded in a number of cases in domestic cats, mainly in Mediterranean areas. Although feline troglostrongylosis is a severe and life-threatening disease, especially in young cats, treatment options are very limited. The present study evaluated the efficacy and safety of a spot-on formulation containing emodepside 2.1% and praziquantel 8.6% (Profender, Bayer), which is licensed for treatment of the more common cat lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, for the treatment of natural troglostrongylosis.

Methods: Sixteen cats enrolled in the study were 1:1 allocated to two groups, i.e. Group T, treated with Profender spot-on on days 0 and 14 (± 2) at the recommended clinical dose, and Group C which remained untreated. After study completion, the control cats received two rescue treatments with Profender on days 28 (± 2) and 42 (± 2). The primary efficacy criterion was the absence of T. brevior L1 following treatment. Other efficacy parameters were the quantitative comparison of L1 presence before (baseline) and after treatment in both groups, and the comparison of clinical signs pre- and post-treatment.

Results: In terms of stopping larval shedding, Profender showed an efficacy of 97% and 97.5% (arithmetic and geometric means, respectively) for group T, 97.1% and 98.5% for group C after one administration, and 100% for both groups after two doses. Overall, 12 cats showed clinical signs related to T. brevior. Specifically, 9 were clinically affected before treatment while clinical signs appeared after the first treatment in 3 cats. At the end of the study, all symptomatic cats fully recovered with the exception of 3 cats that showed clinical signs similar to those observed at the pre-treatment examination at the end of the study.

Conclusions: This study shows that Profender is effective against T. brevior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-019-3361-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6417080PMC
March 2019

Occurrence of canine and feline extra-intestinal nematodes in key endemic regions of Italy.

Acta Trop 2019 May 8;193:227-235. Epub 2019 Mar 8.

Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, University of Padova, Legnaro, PD, 35020, Italy.

Extra-intestinal nematodes of companion animals are of growing concern in veterinary medicine for their pathogenic potential and the current expansion throughout Europe. The present study has evaluated the occurrence of major canine and feline extra-intestinal nematodes in regions of Italy having epidemiological relevance. Associations of various recorded parameters related to the examined animals have been statistically evaluated, along with a comparative analysis with the most recent epidemiological data. Overall, 1055 dogs and 1000 cats were tested. Among extra-intestinal nematodes Angiostrongylus vasorum was the most common in dogs followed by Capillaria aerophila and Dirofilaria spp.; Aelurostrongylus abstrusus was the most recorded parasite in cats, followed by C. aerophila and Troglostrongylus brevior. The statistical analysis revealed that outdoor access is associated with A. vasorum, A. abstrusus and T. brevior infections, that were also more prevalent in animals with cardio-respiratory signs. Moreover, cats aged less than 12 months had more chances to be infected by lungworms. The data herein presented confirm the occurrence and the possible risk of expansion of different extra-intestinal parasitoses of dogs and cats in Italy, underlining the importance of a constant epidemiologic vigilance and of appropriate control methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2019.03.009DOI Listing
May 2019

Cyathostomin faecal egg counts in horse farms from Central Italy.

Vet Ital 2018 12 31;54(4):317-322. Epub 2018 Dec 31.

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Località Piano D'Accio snc, 64100 Teramo, Italy.

Cyathostomins,  or  'small  strongyles',  are  the  most  important  equine  helminths  because  of their  worldwide  distribution,  spread  of  anthelmintic‑resistant  populations,  and  pathogenic impact.  The  so‑called  'selective  treatment'  of  those  animals  exceeding  a  certain  faecal  egg  count  (FEC)  has  recently  been  proposed  to  implement  cyathostomin  control  programmes.  The present study evaluated the extent of egg shedding in 475 horses living in 12 farms from 3 regions of Italy. All examined farms and 224 horses (47.6%) were positive for cyathostomins. 138 horses (28.8%) scored positive for cyathostomin FECs with a range of eggs‑per‑gram of faeces (epg) values of 50‑2,150. Further 86 horses (18.1%) were positive only under qualitative microscopy (i.e. < 50 epg). Of the animals with a FEC > 50 epg, 81 (17%) and 57 (12%) showed values  of  50‑200  and  >  200  epg,  respectively.  The  findings  from  this  study  demonstrated  a reduced presence of high‑shedding horses compared to results obtained in previous years in  the  same  study  areas,  despite  overlapping  climate  features  in  the  previous  5  years.  A  continuing  monitoring  of  epidemiological  and  biological  features  of  horse  cyathostomin infection  is  crucial  for  planning  intervention  programmes  aimed  to  maintaining  animal health and preserving the efficacy of parasiticides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.787.3812.1DOI Listing
December 2018
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