Publications by authors named "Xavier Roura"

53 Publications

Clinical and Histopathological Features of Renal Maldevelopment in Boxer Dogs: A Retrospective Case Series (1999-2018).

Animals (Basel) 2021 Mar 13;11(3). Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Italy.

Renal maldevelopment (RM) has been proposed to replace the old and sometimes misused term "renal dysplasia" in dogs. Although renal dysplasia has been described in Boxers, hereditary transmission has only been hypothesized. This study reports clinical and renal histological findings in Boxer dogs with RM, proposing a possible mode of inheritance. Medical records of 9 female Boxer dogs, older than 5 months and with a clinical diagnosis of chronic kidney disease prior to one year of age, were retrospectively reviewed. Polyuria and polydipsia (PU/PD), decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy and weakness were described in all affected dogs. Common laboratory findings were proteinuria, diluted urine, non-regenerative anemia, azotemia, hyperphosphatemia, hypoalbuminemia and hypercholesterolemia. Histopathology of the kidneys revealed the presence of immature glomeruli in all dogs, which is consistent with RM. In 7 related dogs, the pedigree analysis showed that a simple autosomal recessive trait may be a possible mode of inheritance. Renal maldevelopment should be suspected in young Boxer dogs with a history of PU/PD, decreased appetite, weight loss, lethargy, weakness and proteinuria. Due to its possible inheritance, an early diagnosis of RM may allow clinicians to promptly identify other potentially affected dogs among the relatives of the diagnosed case.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030810DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8001074PMC
March 2021

Risk of infection associated with Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitors and biological therapies in inflammatory intestinal disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Prevention strategies.

Gastroenterol Hepatol 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Servicio de Reumatología, Hospital Universitario Parc Taulí. Sabadell, Departamento de Medicina. Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, España.

Patients with certain immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), have an increased risk of severe infectious diseases than the general population, which are mainly associated with the immunosuppressive treatments that they receive.These treatments act on the immune system through different mechanisms, causing different degrees of immunosuppression and a variable risk depending on whether the pathogen is a virus, bacteria or fungus. This article reviews the most relevant literature on the subject, which was selected and discussed by a panel of experts. The aim of this article is to review the risk of infections in patients with IBD and RA, and the potential preventive measures.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gastrohep.2021.01.007DOI Listing
February 2021

Parasites and vector-borne diseases disseminated by rehomed dogs.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Nov 10;13(1):546. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Institute of Animal Hygiene and Veterinary Public Health, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany.

The Companion Vector-Borne Diseases (CVBD) World Forum is a working group of leading international experts who meet annually to evaluate current scientific findings and future trends concerning the distribution, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis and prevention of vector-borne infections of dogs and cats. At the 14th Symposium of the CVBD World Forum in Trieste, Italy (March 25-28, 2019), we identified the need to (i) bring attention to the potential spread of parasites and vectors with relocated dogs, and (ii) provide advice to the veterinary profession regarding the importance of surveillance and treatment for parasites and vector-borne infections when rehoming dogs. This letter shares a consensus statement from the CVBD World Forum as well as a summary of the problem faced, including the role of veterinary professionals in parasite surveillance, causal issues, and the importance of interdisciplinary cooperation in addressing the problem. To limit opportunities for dissemination of parasites and vectors, whenever possible, underlying problems creating the need for dog rehoming should be addressed. However, when it is necessary to rehome dogs, this should ideally take place in the country and national region of origin. When geographically distant relocation occurs, veterinary professionals have a vital role to play in public education, vigilance for detection of exotic vectors and infections, and alerting the medical community to the risk(s) for pathogen spread. With appropriate veterinary intervention, dog welfare needs can be met without inadvertently allowing global spread of parasites and their vectors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04407-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7653694PMC
November 2020

Preventive measures of canine leishmaniosis in Italy: Attitudes of veterinarians based on a questionnaire.

Prev Vet Med 2020 Oct 10;183:105148. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

formerly, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.

There are several topical ectoparasiticides, drugs, supplements and vaccines that protect dogs against sand fly bites and/or reduce the risk of Leishmania infantum infection. This large variety of products and the absence of comparative studies mean that veterinarians are often faced with uncertainty. The aim of the study was to characterise the attitudes of veterinarians towards leishmaniosis prevention in client-owned dogs in Italy. A web-based questionnaire was prepared with 28 questions covering the working environment of veterinarians, advice given to owners regarding topical ectoparasiticides, advice on systemic prevention, and the use of diagnostic tests on which to base advice for prevention. The questionnaire was emailed to 9,426 veterinarians and answers were collected after 100 days. A total of 542 questionnaires were returned (response percentage 5.8 %): 54.8 % of the veterinarians considered their working area to be endemic, 29.3 % examined dogs from urban areas, and 42.3 % diagnosed ≥10 dogs/year with leishmaniosis. Those veterinarians who diagnosed ≥10 dogs/year with leishmaniosis were more likely to consider their working area to be endemic, whereas those who examined dogs mainly from urban areas were less likely to consider the area to be endemic. Veterinarians who considered the working area to be endemic were more prone to prescribe ectoparasiticides throughout the year, including collars and spot-on products and a combination of the two, vaccine alone or vaccine and domperidone combined, and used qualitative serological Leishmania tests. The attitude of veterinarians did not differ whether dogs were from urban or rural areas. In conclusion, veterinarians who consider their working area to be endemic or who frequently diagnose dogs with leishmaniosis tend to adopt more comprehensive strategies, and their attitudes are not influenced by the origin of the dogs: urban or rural. Overall, in Italy the attitudes of veterinarians in relation to canine leishmaniosis prevention appear to vary considerably.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2020.105148DOI Listing
October 2020

Serological evaluation of selected vector-borne pathogens in owned dogs from northern Spain based on a multicenter study using a commercial test.

Parasit Vectors 2020 Jun 10;13(1):301. Epub 2020 Jun 10.

Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Complutense University of Madrid, Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n, 28040, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Environmental conditions in northern Spain allow the development of different arthropods involved in the transmission of significant canine vector-borne pathogens. The aim of the study was to systematically assess seroprevalence rates for Leishmania infantum, Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma spp., Dirofilaria immitis and Borrelia burgdorferi, and risk factors in dogs from all regions of the north of Spain.

Methods: A total of 556 dogs were included in this study between January 2017 and December 2018, belonging to 30 practices covering all regions in northern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque Country, Navarra, Aragon and Catalonia). All practices were located in the north of every region. Blood samples were analyzed using the 4DX SNAP® test (IDEXX Laboratories, Westbrook, Maine, USA) for the detection of D. immitis antigen and E. canis, B. burgdorferi and Anaplasma spp. antibodies. Leishmania SNAP® test (IDEXX Laboratories) was used for detection of L. infantum antibodies. Associations between prevalence of canine vector-borne pathogens, epidemiological and clinical signs data were statistically analyzed.

Results: The overall prevalence rates were 8.99% for L. infantum, 1.26% for Anaplasma spp., 0.9% for E. canis, 0.72% for B. burgdorferi, and 0.18% for D. immitis. Globally, 11.33% of the dogs included in the study were positive to any tested vector-borne pathogen. Leishmania infantum seroprevalence was the highest and the only one detected in all the regions. Leishmania infantum seropositivity was associated with age > 10 years-old, outdoor access, anemia, fever, dermatological signs, lympadenomegaly, muscular atrophy, ocular signs and renal disease. Ehrlichia canis seropositivity was associated with the summer season and living in urban areas. Apathy, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, anemia, fever and gastrointestinal clinical signs were also associated with E. canis antibody detection. Living in a rural area was also a risk factor for Anaplasma spp. and B. burgdorferi seropositivity.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first multicenter survey performed in northern Spain assessing different canine vector-borne diseases from all regions. Results show the presence of autochthonous cases of these diseases. The vector-borne pathogens found in this study should be included in the differential diagnosis in dogs from some areas previously considered non-endemic for these pathogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-020-04172-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7288488PMC
June 2020

spp. Prevalence (Serology, Culture, and PCR) in Sanitary Workers in La Rioja Spain.

Pathogens 2020 Mar 4;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 4.

Galaxy Diagnostics, Research Triangle Park, Morrisville, NC 27709, USA.

spp. are increasingly implicated in association with a spectrum of zoonotic infectious diseases. One hundred sanitary workers in La Rioja, Spain completed a questionnaire and provided blood specimens for spp. serology and alpha-Proteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM) enrichment blood culture/PCR. Six immunofluorescence assays (IFA) were performed and aseptically obtained blood specimens were inoculated into liquid BAPGM and subcultured onto blood agar plates. DNA was amplified using conventional and real-time PCR assays. The spp., strain, or genotype was determined by DNA sequencing. seroreactivity was documented in 83.1% and bloodstream infection in 21.6% of participants. , subsp. genotypes I and III, and were identified. IFA seroreactivity and PCR positivity were not statistically associated with self-reported symptoms. Our results suggest that exposure to and non-clinical infection with spp. may occur more often than previously suspected in the La Rioja region.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9030189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7157737PMC
March 2020

Role of vector-borne pathogens in the development of fever in cats: 2. Tick- and sandfly-associated diseases.

J Feline Med Surg 2020 01;22(1):41-48

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain.

Practical Relevance: There has been increasing identification of vector-borne pathogens in cats presented to veterinary clinics around the world for evaluation of fever and the associated secondary effects, such as signs of depression and loss of appetite.

Aim: The aim of this article is to summarize the clinically relevant information concerning fever in cats that is associated with pathogens vectored by ticks or sandflies, with an emphasis on presenting clinical abnormalities and optimal diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies. Fever in cats associated with pathogens known or suspected to be vectored by fleas was discussed within Part 1 of this two-part article series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X19895942DOI Listing
January 2020

Role of vector-borne pathogens in the development of fever in cats: 1. Flea-associated diseases.

J Feline Med Surg 2020 01;22(1):31-39

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Spain.

Practical Relevance: There has been increasing identification of vector-borne pathogens in cats presented to veterinary clinics around the world for evaluation of fever and the associated secondary effects, such as signs of depression and loss of appetite.

Aim: The aim of this article is to summarize the clinically relevant information concerning fever in cats that is associated with pathogens known or suspected to be vectored by fleas, with an emphasis on presenting clinical abnormalities and optimal diagnostic, treatment and prevention strategies. Fever in cats that is associated with pathogens vectored by ticks or sandflies is discussed in Part 2 of this article series.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1098612X19895941DOI Listing
January 2020

Canine Leishmaniasis Control in the Context of One Health.

Emerg Infect Dis 2019 12;25(12):1-4

Dogs are the main reservoir of Leishmania infantum and in some countries have been regularly culled as part of government policy to control visceral leishmaniasis. At the 13th Symposium of the Companion Vector-Borne Diseases World Forum in Windsor, UK, March 19-22, 2018, we consolidated a consensus statement regarding the usefulness of dog culling as a means of controlling visceral leishmaniasis. The statement highlighted the futility of culling infected dogs, whether healthy or sick, as a measure to control the domestic reservoir of L. infantum and reduce the risk for visceral leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2512.190164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6874277PMC
December 2019

Hypercalcemia of Malignancy in a Dog Diagnosed With Cholangiocellular Carcinoma.

Top Companion Anim Med 2019 Jun 20;35:1-5. Epub 2019 Feb 20.

Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Electronic address:

A 4-year-old, neutered male Golden Retriever was presented with a 1-week history of weight loss, polyuria, and polydipsia. The diagnostic workup showed an increased ionized calcium concentration, mild increase in serum creatinine and urea concentration, and severe hyperlipasemia. A complete abdominal ultrasound revealed multiple hepatic nodules. A cytological diagnosis of malignant epithelial neoplasia, highly suggestive of bile duct adenocarcinoma was made. In order to confirm the presumptive diagnosis of hypercalcemia of malignancy due to the presence of a hepatic neoplasia, serum parathormone-related peptide concentration was measured, and the result revealed an increased concentration. The dog was hospitalized and received supportive treatments consisting of intravenous furosemide and fluid therapy. After ruling out lymphoma and hypoadrenocorticism, oral prednisone was initiated and ionized calcium concentration decreased gradually down to normal concentration after 7 days of hospitalization. Chemotherapy with intravenous epirubicin was initiated based on the cytological diagnosis. One month after diagnosis and due to the worsening of its clinical condition, the dog was humanely euthanized. Postmortem examination confirmed a cholangiocellular carcinoma. To our knowledge, this is the first report of malignant hypercalcemia associated with cholangiocellular carcinoma in a dog.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.tcam.2019.02.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Comparison of efficacy and safety of preventive measures used against canine leishmaniasis in southern European countries: Longitudinal retrospective study in 1647 client-owned dogs (2012-2016).

Vet Parasitol 2018 Nov 28;263:10-17. Epub 2018 Sep 28.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

The best preventive strategy for canine leishmaniasis is, to date, unknown. In the last few years, new preventive measures have become available in Europe, including vaccination against leishmaniasis and the use of domperidone. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the different preventive measures available against leishmaniasis in client-owned dogs. A database search of medical records was carried out in 52 private veterinary practices located in endemic areas of canine leishmaniasis in Spain, Italy and Portugal. Healthy seronegative dogs were included in the study. Serology was repeated at least 6 months later, and was used to retrospectively classify dogs into healthy, infected or sick. A total of 1647 dogs were included in the study. The use of preventive measures in this population was widespread. The single most utilized measure was repellents alone in 45.7% of dogs, followed by the combination of repellents and vaccination in 23.0%, repellents and domperidone in 11.3%, vaccination alone in 4.2%, vaccination and domperidone in 2.7%, domperidone alone in 2.3%, and the combination of the three measures in 0.2% of dogs. No preventive measure was applied in 10.7% dogs. The incidence of clinical leishmaniasis in the group with no preventive treatment applied was 12.5%. In the groups where prevention was applied, the reported incidence was the following: 10.1% for the vaccination only group, 4.5% for repellents only group, 4.0% for repellents + vaccination group, and 0.5% for repellents + domperidone group. No dogs in the groups of domperidone, vaccination + domperidone, and combination of the three measures developed clinical leishmaniasis. All preventive measures resulted in a significantly lower incidence of leishmaniasis compared to not applying any measure, except for vaccination alone. The majority of preventive strategies used, with exception of vaccination alone, decreased the incidence of leishmaniasis significantly. Adverse events, mild and self-limiting in most of the cases, were reported in 5.2% of dogs and were significantly more common in dogs following vaccination. In conclusion, this is the first large-scale field study investigating the efficacy and safety of the preventive measures used routinely against leishmaniasis in client-owned dogs. Most preventive strategies used, with exception of vaccination alone, had some benefit over not applying any preventive. In this field study, the use of repellents showed a good degree of protection in dogs living in endemic areas of canine leishmaniasis. Although lower numbers of dogs are included, the use of domperidone appeared to provide additional protection. The role of vaccination and its combination with other preventive strategies needs further study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2018.09.014DOI Listing
November 2018

Computed tomographic features of destructive granulomatous rhinitis with intracranial extension secondary to leishmaniasis in a cat.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2020 Nov 11;61(6):E64-E68. Epub 2018 Jul 11.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

A 5-year-old castrated male Domestic Shorthair cat presented for evaluation of chronic history of nasal discharge and nasal stridor. On computed tomography (CT), a destructive ill-defined mass of soft tissue attenuation was occupying the right nasal cavity and extending into the left nasal cavity, nasopharynx, and rostral cranial cavity. Histopathology of the rhinoscopically excised samples consisted with destructive granulomatous rhinitis secondary to Leishmania spp. Chronic granulomatous rhinitis with intracranial and nasopharyneal extension secondary to Leishmania spp. infection should be included as a differential diagnosis for a destructive nasal mass of soft tissue attenuation, especially in endemic regions for leishmaniasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12666DOI Listing
November 2020

Short-term effects of dietary supplementation with amino acids in dogs with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.

Can Vet J 2017 Dec;58(12):1287-1293

The Medical Consultancy Services, G Calì street 60, Ta'Xbiex, XBX1424 Malta (Zatelli, D'Ippolito); The Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Spain (Roura); The Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, Vet Suisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland, Department of Animal Medicine, Production and Health, viale dell'Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), University of Padova, Italy, and Istituto Veterinario di Novara, Strada Provinciale 9, 28060 Granozzo con Monticello (NO), Italy (Zini).

This retrospective study investigated the impact of amino acid supplementation on body weight, serum albumin, creatinine and urea concentrations, and urine protein-to-creatinine (UPC) ratio in proteinuric dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Forty-six client-owned azotemic dogs with spontaneous proteinuric CKD already on a renal diet and in therapy with enalapril were included. After approximately 1 month of treatment (baseline), 29 dogs received oral amino acid supplementation daily (group A) and 17 dogs did not (group B). The parameters under investigation were determined at baseline and after 4 to 8 weeks in both groups. Compared to baseline, body weight and serum albumin increased ( < 0.01, < 0.05, respectively) at follow-up in group A, but did not change in group B. Serum creatinine concentration did not change in both groups; urea concentration ( < 0.05) and UPC ratio ( < 0.01) decreased in group B, but not in group A. Supplementation with amino acids increased body weight and serum albumin concentration in these dogs but it might have prevented a decrease in proteinuria and urea concentration.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5680804PMC
December 2017

Prevalence of Bartonella spp. by culture, PCR and serology, in veterinary personnel from Spain.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Nov 7;10(1):553. Epub 2017 Nov 7.

Intracellular Pathogens Research Laboratory, Comparative Medicine Institute, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.

Background: The genus Bartonella includes fastidious, facultative intracellular bacteria mainly transmitted by arthropods and distributed among mammalian reservoirs. Bartonella spp. implicated as etiological agents of zoonoses are increasing. Apart from the classical Bartonella henselae, B. bacilliformis or B. quintana, other species (B. elizabethae, B. rochalimae, B. vinsonii arupensis and B. v. berkhoffii, B. tamiae or B. koehlerae, among others) have also been associated with human and/or animal diseases. Laboratory techniques for diagnosis (culture, PCR assays and serology) usually show lack of sensitivity. Since 2005, a method based on a liquid enrichment Bartonella alphaproteobacteria growth medium (BAPGM) followed by PCRs for the amplification of Bartonella spp. has been developed. We aimed to assess culture, molecular and serological prevalence of Bartonella infections in companion animal veterinary personnel from Spain.

Methods: Each of 89 participants completed a questionnaire. Immunofluorescence assays (IFA) using B. vinsonii berkhoffii (genotypes I, II and III), B. henselae, B. quintana and B. koehlerae as antigens were performed. A cut-off of 1:64 was selected as a seroreactivity titer. Blood samples were inoculated into BAPGM and subcultured onto blood agar plates. Bartonella spp. was detected using conventional and quantitative real-time PCR assays and DNA sequencing.

Results: Among antigens corresponding to six Bartonella spp. or genotypes, the lowest seroreactivity was found against B. quintana (11.2%) and the highest, against B. v. berkhoffii genotype III (56%). A total of 27% of 89 individuals were not seroreactive to any test antigen. Bartonella spp. IFA seroreactivity was not associated with any clinical sign or symptom. DNA from Bartonella spp., including B. henselae (n = 2), B. v. berkhoffii genotypes I (n = 1) and III (n = 2), and B. quintana (n = 2) was detected in 7/89 veterinary personnel. PCR and DNA sequencing findings were not associated with clinical signs or symptoms. No co-infections were observed. One of the two B. henselae PCR-positive individuals was IFA seronegative to all tested antigens whereas the other one was not B. henselae seroreactive. The remaining PCR-positive individuals were seroreactive to multiple Bartonella spp. antigens.

Conclusions: High serological and molecular prevalences of exposure to, or infection with, Bartonella spp. were found in companion animal veterinary personnel from Spain. More studies using BAPGM enrichment blood culture and PCR are needed to clarify the finding of Bartonella PCR-positive individuals lacking clinical symptoms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2483-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5678790PMC
November 2017

First description of Bartonella koehlerae infection in a Spanish dog with infective endocarditis.

Parasit Vectors 2017 May 19;10(1):247. Epub 2017 May 19.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Carrer de l´Hospital, Campus UAB, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Bartonella koehlerae has been recently described as a new cat- and cat fleas-associated agent of culture-negative human endocarditis. It has been also encountered in one dog from Israel and six dogs from the USA, but other clinically relevant reports involving this bacterium are lacking.

Results: A 7-year-old intact male mixed dog presented with clinico-pathological signs consistent with mitral endocarditis and cutaneous hemangiosarcoma. Molecular studies revealed the presence of Bartonella koehlerae DNA in samples from blood and mitral valve tissue.

Conclusions: This is the first description of B. koehlerae in Spain, corroborating that it can also be detected in dogs. Bartonella koehlerae infection should also be considered in Spain in humans and dogs presenting with clinical disease suggestive of it, such as culture-negative endocarditis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2188-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5437684PMC
May 2017

Molecular detection of vector-borne pathogens in blood and splenic samples from dogs with splenic disease.

Parasit Vectors 2017 Mar 13;10(1):131. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Carrer de L'Hospital s/n, 08193 Bellaterra, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: The spleen is a highly perfused organ involved in the immunological control and elimination of vector-borne pathogens (VBP), which could have a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of splenic disease. This study aimed to evaluate certain VBP in samples from dogs with splenic lesions.

Methods: Seventy-seven EDTA-blood and 64 splenic tissue samples were collected from 78 dogs with splenic disease in a Mediterranean area. Babesia spp., Bartonella spp., Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp., Hepatozoon canis, Leishmania infantum, hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. and Rickettsia spp. were targeted using PCR assays. Sixty EDTA-blood samples from dogs without evidence of splenic lesions were included as a control group.

Results: More than half (51.56%) of the biopsies (33/64) were consistent with benign lesions and 48.43% (31/64) with malignancy, mostly hemangiosarcoma (25/31). PCR yielded positive results in 13 dogs with spleen alterations (16.67%), for Babesia canis (n = 3), Babesia gibsoni (n = 2), hemotropic Mycoplasma spp. (n = 2), Rickettsia massiliae (n = 1) and "Babesia vulpes" (n = 1), in blood; and for B. canis, B. gibsoni, Ehrlichia canis and L. infantum (n = 1 each), in spleen. Two control dogs (3.3%) were positive for B. gibsoni and H. canis (n = 1 each). Benign lesions were detected in the 61.54% of infected dogs (8/13); the remaining 38.46% were diagnosed with malignancies (5/13). Infection was significantly associated to the presence of splenic disease (P = 0.013). There was no difference in the prevalence of infection between dogs with benign and malignant splenic lesions (P = 0.69); however B. canis was more prevalent in dogs with hemangiosarcoma (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: VBP infection could be involved in the pathogenesis of splenic disease. The immunological role of the spleen could predispose to alterations of this organ in infected dogs. Interestingly, all dogs with B. canis infection were diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma in the present survey. As previously reported, results support that VBP diagnosis could be improved by analysis of samples from different tissues. The sample size included here warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-017-2074-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5346854PMC
March 2017

ENCHONDROMATOSIS IN AN ADULT DOG.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2018 Sep 24;59(5):E50-E55. Epub 2017 Feb 24.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193, Barcelona, Spain.

A 7-year-old crossbreed dog presented for lameness with diffuse soft tissue swelling in the right fore limb. Radiographs identified increased opacity of medullary cavity involving the radius and ulna. Whole-body computed tomography (CT) revealed mineral attenuation in the medullary cavity of multiple bones. Histopathology of the right distal tibia showed a fibrocartilaginous matrix occupying intertrabecular spaces. The final diagnosis was enchondromatosis. Long-term favorable progression of the dog's clinical condition further supported the benign histopathologic classification. This is the fifth case of canine enchondromatosis reported so far and the first documentation of further characterization with CT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vru.12487DOI Listing
September 2018

Species of ticks and carried pathogens in owned dogs in Spain: Results of a one-year national survey.

Ticks Tick Borne Dis 2017 06 3;8(4):443-452. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

This study presents the results of a national survey in Spain on the distribution of ticks on owned dogs, their phenology and the associated pathogens over one year. In the study, 1628 adult ticks were collected on 660 dogs presented to 26 veterinary practices, of which 507 dogs (76.8%) carried at least one adult tick. The primary species of ticks were Rhipicephalus sanguineus s.l. (53%), Dermacentor reticulatus (9%), Ixodes ricinus (9%), and I. hexagonus (4%). Parasitism by two species of these ticks was rare. The four species showed a clear association with the biogeographical features of the country, with I. ricinus associated with the wettest northern regions, I. hexagonus and D. reticulatus associated with the north of the territory, and R. sanguineus s.l. prevalent throughout the entire country. Dogs living in rural areas had a higher prevalence of all species, but R. sanguineus s.l. was the most prevalent; however, this tick was also more common on dogs living indoors. R. sanguineus s.l. adults were active throughout the year, with a maximum peak from March to July. The other tick species were collected throughout the year, with an autumn-winter peak of D. reticulatus, but without clear seasonality for either I. ricinus or I. hexagonus. Combined real-time PCR and conventional PCR of the feeding ticks recorded Piroplasmida (Hepatozoon canis, Babesia canis, B. gibsoni, and several sequences compatible with Theileria spp.), Rickettsia spp. (R. massiliae, R. sibirica mongolitimonae, R. monacensis), Ehrlichia canis, Anaplasma platys, A. phagocytophilum and Borrelia spp. (B. afzelii, B. garinii, B. valaisiana). Hepatozoon canis and B. canis were the most frequently detected pathogens, with variable rates of infection according to the region. Other than a close association of Borrelia spp. with I. ricinus (and therefore to the wet northern areas of the territory), the other tick-borne pathogens were recorded throughout the country. Although a potential transmission role for ticks carrying unusual pathogens cannot be attributed to these results, these findings introduce a change of paradigm on the tick-borne pathogen distribution in Spain and emphasize the importance of performing active surveys to understand the complex patterns of tick-borne pathogen distributions and their vectors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.02.001DOI Listing
June 2017

Laboratory tests for diagnosing and monitoring canine leishmaniasis.

Vet Clin Pathol 2016 Dec 2;45(4):552-578. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

Clinic for Small Animal Internal Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Although several reviews on canine leishmaniasis have been published, none thoroughly described clinicopathologic abnormalities and their clinical usefulness. The aim of this review was to provide information concerning current diagnostic tests relevant for clinical pathologists and from a practical perspective. Specifically, in canine leishmaniasis, nonregenerative normocytic normochromic anemia, thrombocytopenia, or leukogram changes may be present. Clinical chemistry and urinalysis may indicate renal dysfunction (azotemia, decreased urine specific gravity, proteinuria) and an inflammatory/immune response (increased acute phase proteins [APP] or α - and/or γ-globulins). Although a potential gammopathy is usually polyclonal, it may also appear oligo- or monoclonal, especially in dogs coinfected by other vector-borne pathogens. When lesions are accessible to fine-needle aspiration (lymphoadenomegaly, nodular lesions, joint swelling), cytology is strongly advised, as the presence of Leishmania amastigotes in a pattern of pyogranulomatous inflammation or lymphoplasmacytic hyperplasia is diagnostic. If the cytologic pattern is inconclusive, the parasite should be identified by histology/immunohistochemistry or PCR on surgical biopsies. Alternatively, cytology and PCR may be performed on bone marrow samples where amastigotes, along with erythroid hypoplasia, myeloid hyperplasia, plasmacytosis, or secondary dysmyelopoiesis can be observed. Dogs with overt leishmaniasis generally have high antibody titers, while low titers predominate in immunologically resistant infected dogs or in exposed dogs with no parasite confirmation. Quantitative serology is recommended in clinically suspect dogs as high-titer antibodies titers may confirm the clinical diagnosis. In confirmed and treated dogs, renal function and inflammatory/immune response variables should be periodically monitored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/vcp.12413DOI Listing
December 2016

European multicenter study on antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from companion animal urinary tract infections.

BMC Vet Res 2016 Sep 22;12(1):213. Epub 2016 Sep 22.

Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal (CIISA), Lisboa, Portugal.

Background: There is a growing concern regarding the increase of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in companion animals. Yet, there are no studies comparing the resistance levels of these organisms in European countries. The aim of this study was to investigate geographical and temporal trends of antimicrobial resistant bacteria causing urinary tract infection (UTI) in companion animals in Europe. The antimicrobial susceptibility of 22 256 bacteria isolated from dogs and cats with UTI was determined. Samples were collected between 2008 and 2013 from 16 laboratories of 14 European countries. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistance of the most common bacteria was determined for each country individually in the years 2012-2013 and temporal trends of bacteria resistance were established by logistic regression.

Results: The aetiology of uropathogenic bacteria differed between dogs and cats. For all bacterial species, Southern countries generally presented higher levels of antimicrobial resistance compared to Northern countries. Multidrug-resistant Escherichia coli were found to be more prevalent in Southern countries. During the study period, the level of fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli isolated in Belgium, Denmark, France and the Netherlands decreased significantly. A temporal increase in resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanate and gentamicin was observed among E. coli isolates from the Netherlands and Switzerland, respectively. Other country-specific temporal increases were observed for fluoroquinolone-resistant Proteus spp. isolated from companion animals from Belgium.

Conclusions: This work brings new insights into the current status of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from companion animals with UTI in Europe and reinforces the need for strategies aiming to reduce resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-016-0840-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5034465PMC
September 2016

Countrywide serological evaluation of canine prevalence for Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato), Dirofilaria immitis and Ehrlichia canis in Mexico.

Parasit Vectors 2016 07 29;9(1):421. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Carrer de l'Hospital, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD) have become a major concern for canine and human public health. The aim of the study described here is to add epidemiological data regarding four pathogens responsible for CVBD, namely anaplasmosis, borreliosis, dirofilariosis and ehrlichiosis in a national survey conducted in Mexico.

Methods: Seventy-four veterinary centres located in 21 federal Mexican states were asked to test dogs with clinical signs suspect for CVBD and healthy dogs, for detection of Dirofilaria immitis antigen and antibodies against Anaplasma spp., Borrelia burgdorferi (sensu lato) and Ehrlichia canis using the SNAP® 4DX® from IDEXX® Laboratories.

Results: A total of 1706 dogs were tested, including 943 apparently healthy and 722 CVBD-suspect dogs. Infected dogs were 36.7 %. The highest percentages of infection with E. canis (51.0 %) and Anaplasma spp. (16.4 %) were obtained in the northwestern region, while D. immitis was most frequently found in the northeastern region of the country (8.9 %). Four dogs from the northwestern, northeastern, eastern and southeastern regions, respectively, were positive for B. burgdorferi (sensu lato). Northcentral regions showed lowest overall prevalence of infection (2.4 %). Co-infections were detected in 8.8 % of the dogs tested. Statistically significant lower positivity was found among dogs aged less than one year (23.2 %) and small-sized dogs (27.6 %), while higher prevalence of infection was found in dogs living outdoors (42.0 %), dogs with detectable tick infestation (43.3 %) and dogs that received treatment for tick-transmitted infections (58.8 %). Seropositivity was a risk factor for the presence of clinical signs as follows: Anaplasma spp. (OR = 2.63; 95 % CI: 1.88-3.67; P < 0.0001), D. immitis (OR = 2.52; 95 % CI: 1.61-3.95; P < 0.0001), E. canis (OR = 3.58; 95 % CI: 2.88-4.45; P < 0.0001), mixed infections (OR = 4.08; 95 % CI: 2.79-5.96; P < 0.0001), one or more agents (OR = 3.58; 95 % CI: 2.91-4.42; P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Canine serological evidence supports that dogs from Mexico are at risk of acquiring Anaplasma spp., D. immitis and/or E. canis, while B. burgdorferi (sensu lato) transmission is minimal in the country. Practitioners play a fundamental role in the detection and control of these diseases to protect dogs and humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1686-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966591PMC
July 2016

A review of canine babesiosis: the European perspective.

Parasit Vectors 2016 06 11;9(1):336. Epub 2016 Jun 11.

Department of Animal Health, Veterinary Clinic Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Canine babesiosis is a significant tick-borne disease caused by various species of the protozoan genus Babesia. Although it occurs worldwide, data relating to European infections have now been collected for many years. These data have boosted the publication record and increased our working knowledge of these protozoan parasites. Both the large and small forms of Babesia species (B. canis, B. vogeli, B. gibsoni, and B. microti-like isolates also referred to as "B. vulpes" and "Theileria annae") infect dogs in Europe, and their geographical distribution, transmission, clinical signs, treatment, and prognosis vary widely for each species. The goal of this review is to provide veterinary practitioners with practical guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of babesiosis in European dogs. Our hope is that these guidelines will answer the most frequently asked questions posed by veterinary practitioners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1596-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4902949PMC
June 2016

Early reduction of Leishmania infantum-specific antibodies and blood parasitemia during treatment in dogs with moderate or severe disease.

Parasit Vectors 2016 05 10;9(1):235. Epub 2016 May 10.

Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animals, Facultat de Veterinària, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.

Background: Leishmania infantum-specific antibodies are used extensively for the diagnosis and monitoring of treatment in canine leishmaniosis. Different views have been described for the measurement of L. infantum antibody levels for the monitoring of anti-leishmanial treatment. In addition, molecular techniques using blood are frequently employed in the clinical setting. However, there are not enough studies to prove the usefulness of PCR in diagnosis, treatment monitoring and in assessing the prognosis of the disease. The objectives of this study were to evaluate L. infantum-specific antibodies and blood parasitemia at the time of diagnosis and during treatment and to correlate these with the dog's clinical status.

Methods: Thirty-seven dogs were diagnosed and followed-up during treatment (days 30, 180 and 365). The treatment protocol consisted of a combination of meglumine antimoniate for one month and allopurinol for at least one year. Leishmania infantum-specific antibodies and blood parasitemia were assessed by an end point sera dilution ELISA and by real-time PCR, respectively.

Results: The majority of dogs were classified as LeishVet stage II (moderate disease) at the time of diagnosis (86 %) and the rest as stage III. Results showed variable levels of specific antibodies at the time of diagnosis [median ± interquartile range (IQR): 1372 ± 8803 ELISA units (EU)]. Twenty-three seropositive dogs (64 %) were detected as PCR-positive at the time of diagnosis. Interestingly, a rapid significant antibody level reduction was observed by day 30 of treatment (median ± IQR: 604 ± 2168 EU). A continuing significant decrease of specific antibodies was also found at days 180 (median ± IQR: 201 ± 676 EU) and 365 (median ± IQR: 133 ± 329 EU) in association with clinical improvement. A significant blood parasitemia reduction was also observed at all time points studied. Mean parasites/ml ± SD were 19.4 ± 79.1 on day 0, 2.2 ± 11.7 on day 30, 0.9 ± 2.9 on day 180, and 0.3 ± 0.7 on day 365.

Conclusions: This study reports a significant reduction of L. infantum antibodies measured by an end point sera dilution ELISA method after 30 days of treatment associated with clinical improvement. A low proportion of sick dogs with moderate disease were negative by blood real-time PCR at the time of diagnosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1519-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862152PMC
May 2016

Molecular detection of Leishmania infantum, filariae and Wolbachia spp. in dogs from southern Portugal.

Parasit Vectors 2016 05 10;9(1):170. Epub 2016 May 10.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.

Background: Leishmaniosis caused by the protozoan Leishmania infantum and dirofilariosis caused by the nematodes Dirofilaria immitis or Dirofilaria repens are vector-borne zoonoses widely present in the Mediterranean basin. In addition, some studies reported that the endosymbiont Wolbachia spp. play a role in the biology and pathogenesis of filarial parasites. The aim of this work was to evaluate the frequency of mono- and co-infections by L. infantum, filariae and Wolbachia spp. and their association with clinical signs in dogs from the south of Portugal. Leishmanial, filarial and Wolbachia spp. DNA were evaluated by specific real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays in blood samples from 230 dogs.

Findings: One hundred and thirty-nine (60.4 %) dogs were qPCR-positive for L. infantum and 26 (11.3 %) for filariae (24 for D. immitis only, one D. immitis and for Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides and another one for Acanthocheilonema reconditum only). Wolbachia spp. DNA was amplified from 16 (64.0 %) out of the 25 D. immitis-positive dogs. Nineteen (8.3 %) dogs were co-infected with L. infantum and D. immitis, including the one (0.4 %) A. drancunculoides-positive animal. In dogs without clinical signs consistent with leishmaniosis and/or dirofilariosis, L. infantum prevalence was 69 %, whereas in those dogs with at least one clinical manifestation compatible with any of the two parasitoses prevalence was 42.7 %. Leishmania prevalence was significantly higher in apparently healthy mongrels (77.2 %) and pets (76.9 %) than in defined-breed dogs (including crosses; 58.8 %) and in dogs with an aptitude other than pet (i.e. farm, guard, hunting, shepherd or stray), respectively, whereas in those dogs with at least one clinical sign, the detection of L. infantum DNA was higher in males (53.3 %) and in those dogs not receiving insect repellents (52.8 %).

Conclusions: The molecular detection of canine vector-borne disease (CVBD) agents, some of which are zoonotic, reinforces the need to implement efficient prophylactic measures, such as insect repellents and macrocyclic lactones (including compliance to administration), in the geographical areas where these agents are distributed, with the view to prevent infection and disease among mammalian hosts including humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1452-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4862134PMC
May 2016

Phenobarbital-responsive sialadenosis in dogs: case series.

Top Companion Anim Med 2014 Dec 17;29(4):109-12. Epub 2015 Jan 17.

Department of Animal Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain.

Phenobarbital-responsive sialadenosis (PRS) is a rare idiopathic disease in dogs. Vomiting, retching, and gulping with bilateral enlargement of the submandibular salivary glands are the more frequent clinical signs. A thorough diagnostic examination must be performed to rule out the most important systemic etiologies involved with chronic vomiting, as there is no specific test to diagnose PRS. Diagnosis is confirmed clinically by a rapid and dramatic improvement of clinical signs after instauration of phenobarbital treatment. The aim of this article is to describe the clinical presentation, diagnostic findings, and outcome of a case series of 4 dogs with presumptive PRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.tcam.2015.01.003DOI Listing
December 2014

Guideline for veterinary practitioners on canine ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in Europe.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Feb 4;8:75. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Departament de Medicina i Cirurgia Animal, Facultat de Veterinaria, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.

Canine ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis are important tick-borne diseases with a worldwide distribution. Information has been continuously collected on these infections in Europe, and publications have increased in recent years. Prevalence rates are high for Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp. infections in dogs from different European countries. The goal of this article was to provide a practical guideline for veterinary practitioners on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis in dogs from Europe. This guideline is intended to answer the most common questions on these diseases from a practical point of view.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0649-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4324656PMC
February 2015

Big-endothelin 1 (big ET-1) and homocysteine in the serum of dogs with chronic kidney disease.

Vet J 2013 Oct 27;198(1):109-15. Epub 2013 Jul 27.

Department of Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, University of Milan, Via Celoria 10, 20133 Milan, Italy.

This study was aimed at determining the serum concentration of homocysteine (Hcy) and big endothelin-1 (big ET-1, the precursor of endothelin) in dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD) with and without hypertension, proteinuria and inflammation, in order to explore their role as biomarkers of hypertension associated with CKD. Hcy and big ET-1 were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and an enzymatic cyclic reaction, respectively, in dogs with CKD staged, as proposed by the International Renal Interest Society (IRIS), using serum creatinine, urinary protein to creatinine (UPC) ratio and systolic blood pressure, and classified as affected or not by inflammation based on the serum concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP). Serum Hcy was significantly higher in dogs of IRIS stages II, III and IV compared with controls and in proteinuric compared with non-proteinuric dogs. No differences relating to the degree of hypertension or to the CRP concentration were found. Serum big ET-1 significantly increased in dogs of IRIS stage IV compared with controls, in proteinuric compared with non-proteinuric dogs, in dogs with severe hypertension compared with those without hypertension, and in dogs with increased CRP compared to those with normal CRP concentrations. Hcy only correlated with serum creatinine but big ET-1 significantly correlated with serum creatinine, UPC ratio, systolic blood pressure, and increased CRP. In conclusion, both Hcy and big ET-1 increase in dogs with CKD. Although further research is needed, big ET-1, but not Hcy, may also be considered as a biomarker of hypertension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.06.022DOI Listing
October 2013

Variation of proteinuria in dogs with leishmaniasis treated with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol: a retrospective study.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2013 Jul-Aug;49(4):231-6. Epub 2013 May 20.

Clinica Veterinaria Pirani, Reggio Emilia, Italy.

A retrospective study was performed using 53 client owned dogs with leishmaniasis to determine whether the degree of proteinuria, evaluated by the urine protein/creatinine ratio (UP/C), changes following treatment with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol. Medical records of dogs with leishmaniasis in clinical stage C (according to the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group staging system) and either proteinuric or borderline proteinuric (according to the International Renal Interest Society [IRIS] staging system) were reviewed. All dogs were treated with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol for 4-8 wk. After treatment, UP/C, total protein, and total globulin significantly decreased and albumin and the albumin/globulin ratio (A/G) increased. After treatment, 7 of the 53 dogs (13.4%) became nonproteinuric following either a proteinuric or borderline proteinuric stage. Moreover, 12 of the 53 proteinuric dogs (22.6%) changed their stage to borderline proteinuric. The antileishmaniasis treatment with meglumine antimoniate in combination with allopurinol in dogs significantly reduced the degree of proteinuria in a short period of time. The results of the current study may be useful to the veterinary practitioner in the clinical management of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in dogs with proteinuric chronic kidney disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5326/JAAHA-MS-5840DOI Listing
June 2014

Prognosis and monitoring of leishmaniasis in dogs: a working group report.

Vet J 2013 Oct 14;198(1):43-7. Epub 2013 May 14.

Hospital Clínic Veterinari, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain. Electronic address:

This review presents the consensus opinion of the Canine Leishmaniasis Working Group on the prognosis and monitoring of leishmaniasis in dogs. While the prognosis for both exposed and infected dogs is considered to be favourable, this changes if infection progresses to overt disease. For clinically affected animals undergoing treatment, the prognosis is dictated by the severity of the signs (and in particular the severity of renal dysfunction) when therapy is initiated; assessing the degree of proteinuria is useful in this context. Approximately 75% of dogs without evidence of renal involvement live for >4years if adequately treated. Monitoring the response to treatment includes ongoing clinical and clinicopathological assessment, as well as quantifying serological responses and the parasite load in the patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2013.04.001DOI Listing
October 2013

Seropositivity rates for agents of canine vector-borne diseases in Spain: a multicentre study.

Parasit Vectors 2013 Apr 22;6:117. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

Department of Animal Health, Veterinary Faculty, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Controlling canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD) is a major concern, since some of these diseases are serious zoonoses. This study was designed to determine seropositivity rates in Spain for agents causing the following five CVBD: leishmaniosis (Leishmania infantum: Li), heartworm (Dirofilaria immitis: Di), ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis: Ec), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum/Anaplasma platys: An) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi: Bb).

Methods: Anti-An, -Bb, and -Ec antibodies and the Di antigen were determined using the 4DX SNAP® Test (IDEXX Laboratories) and anti-L. infantum (Li) antibodies using the Leishmania SNAP® Test (IDEXX Laboratories) in blood and/or serum samples.

Results: Among 1100 dogs examined, overall seropositivity rates were: Li (15.7%), Ec (5%), An (3.1%), Di (1.25%) and Bb (0.4%). While seropositivity towards Bb and Di was similar in all geographic regions, rates were significantly higher in the east of Spain (8.3%) for An, significantly higher in the north (20%) for Ec, and significantly higher in the Southeast (46.6%) and South (27.4%), and significantly lower in the north (0%) for Li.No statistical associations were observed between sex and the CVBD analyzed (p ≥ 0.05) while the following associations with other variables were detected: a higher seropositivity to Ec (40%) and Bb (6.7%) in dogs under one year of age compared with adults (p < 0.05); and a higher seropositivity to An and Li in dogs that lived outdoors versus indoors (p = 0.01; p < 0.001, respectively). Seropositivity rates of 2.1%, 0%, 1.7%, 0.5% and 4.2% were recorded respectively for An, Bb, Ec, Di and Li in dogs with no clinical signs (n = 556) versus 3.8%, 0.6%, 7.5%, 1.8% and 25.9% for those with signs (n = 507) suggestive of a CVBD.

Conclusion: The data obtained indicate a risk for dogs in Spain of acquiring any of the five CVBD examined. Veterinarians in the different regions should include these diseases in their differential diagnoses and recommend the use of repellents and other prophylactic measures to prevent disease transmission by arthropod vectors. Public health authorities also need to become more involved in the problem, since some of the CVBD examined here also affect humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-6-117DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3639099PMC
April 2013