Serological Survey of Canine Vector-Borne Infections in North-Center Spain

Front Vet Sci. 2021 Dec 6;8:784331. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.784331. eCollection 2021.


Various factors are currently causing an increase in vector-borne parasitic diseases at a global scale; among them, some stand out, such as climatic disturbances derived from global change, the increase in movements of reservoir animals, or changes in land made by human activity. In the European continent, there have been an increasing number of epidemiological studies focused on the detection of these diseases, especially in dogs. In Spain, there are few epidemiological studies focused on the evaluation of the biotic and abiotic factors that may influence the distribution, such as climatic zones, orography, or presence of water reservoirs. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence and distribution of several canine vector-borne diseases caused by Dirofilaria immitis, Leishmania infantum, Anaplasma platys, and Ehrlichia canis in the autonomous community of Castilla y León, the largest region of the Iberian Peninsula, providing a geospatial approach based on a geographic information system (GIS) analysis. Blood from a total of 1,475 domestic dogs from the nine provinces of Castilla y León were analyzed. Also, a GIS analysis of the sample locations was carried out, taking into account the most important predictor variables. The prevalence in dogs infected by D. immitis was 7.19%, and the seroprevalence by L. infantum was 4.61 and 1.56% for A. platys and E. canis. Most of the infected animals were located in areas with stagnant water, irrigated agriculture, or riverbanks, always close to forest and woodland vegetation. These results indicate that dogs living in Castilla y León should take prophylactic measures to avoid infections.

Keywords: A. platys.; D. immitis; E. canis; GIS; L. infantum; Spain; canine vector borne disease; epidemiology.