Seroprevalence and risk factors for Rickettsia felis exposure in dogs from Southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory, Australia

Hii, Sze-Fui, Abdad, Mohammad Y., Kopp, Steven R., Stenos, John, Rees, Robert L. and Traub, Rebecca J. (2013) Seroprevalence and risk factors for Rickettsia felis exposure in dogs from Southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory, Australia. Parasites and Vectors, 6 1: 159.1-159.7. doi:10.1186/1756-3305-6-159


Author Hii, Sze-Fui
Abdad, Mohammad Y.
Kopp, Steven R.
Stenos, John
Rees, Robert L.
Traub, Rebecca J.
Title Seroprevalence and risk factors for Rickettsia felis exposure in dogs from Southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory, Australia
Formatted title
 Seroprevalence and risk factors for Rickettsia felis exposure in dogs from Southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory, Australia
Journal name Parasites and Vectors   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1756-3305
Publication date 2013-06
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1756-3305-6-159
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 6
Issue 1
Start page 159.1
End page 159.7
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The recent detection of Rickettsia felis DNA in dogs in Australia suggests that dogs are potential mammalian reservoir hosts for this emerging rickettsia. To date, there is no published report addressing the seroprevalence of R. felis in dogs in Australia.

Methods: Antigens for R. felis were produced by inoculating confluent XTC-2 monolayer cell cultures with three pools of cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) homogenates. Infection was confirmed by real-time (qPCR), conventional or nested PCRs targeting the ompB, gltA, 17 kDa and ompA genes. Two hundred and ninety-two dogs from Southeast Queensland and the Northern Territory were tested for the presence of R. felis antibodies using a microimmunofluorescence (IF) test and the seroprevalence and associated risk factors for exposure were determined using both uni- and multi-variate analyses.

Results: Rickettsia felis was successfully isolated in cell culture from all three cat-flea pools. One hundred and forty-eight dogs (50.7%) showed seropositivity with titres ≥64 and 54 (18.5%) with titres ≥128. At antibody titres ≥64, dogs with active ectoparasite control were less likely to be seropositive to R. felis (OR: 2.60; 95% CI: 1.20 - 5.56).

Conclusions: This first reported isolation of R. felis in cell culture in Australia allowed for the production of antigen for serological testing of dogs. Results of this serological testing reflects the ubiquitous exposure of dogs to R. felis and advocate for owner vigilance with regards to ectoparasite control on domestic pets.
Keyword Rickettsia felis
Flea-borne spotted fever
Seroprevalence
Ctenocephalides felis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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