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Arq. Bras. Med. Vet. Zootec., v.58, n.4, p.688-690, 2006

Communication

[Comunicação]

Prevalence, hematology and serum biochemistry in stray dogs naturally infected by Hepatozoon canis in São Paulo

[Prevalência, hematologia e bioquímica sérica em cães de rua naturalmente infectados por Hepatozoon canis, em São Paulo]

L.H. O’Dwyer1, M.E. Saito2, M.Y. Hasegawa2, A. Kohayagawa2

1Departamento de Parasitologia - IB – UNESP Caixa Postal 560 18618-000 – Botucatu, SP 2Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia - UNESP- Botucatu, SP

Canine hepatozoonosis is a tick-borne disease caused by protozoan of genus Hepatozoon. There are two described species: Hepatozoon canis and Hepatozoon americanum (Baneth et al., 2003). In Brasil, the species found in dogs is considered to be H. canis (O’Dwyer et al., 2001; 2004) and the infection is more common in rural than in urban areas (Massard, 1979; O’Dwyer et al., 2001).

The clinical signs observed in H. canis-infected dogs in Brazil were anorexia, pale mucous

membranes,

weight

loss,

diarrhoea,

gait

abnormalities, fever, polyuria and polydipsia.

The

laboratory

findings

were

anemia,

leucocytosis with neutrophilia, lymphopenia, monocytosis, and elevated alkaline phosphatase (Gondim et al., 1998; Paludo et al., 2003; Aguiar et al., 2004). All the animals in these studies had concurrent diseases and the findings could not be exclusively attributed to H. canis. The few studies on H. canis infection in Brazil show the lack of information about the epidemiology, pathogenicity and genetic characterization of H. canis in this country.

The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence of H. canis infection in stray dogs from São Paulo State, and the hematological and

serum biochemical infected dogs.

results

from

naturally

A total of 222 dogs, captured on the streets of four cities in São Paulo state, Boituva, Diadema, São Manuel and Botucatu, were examined. Blood smears were taken from the ear margin capillary bed, and smears were air dried, fixed with methanol and stained with Giemsa. The blood smears were examined by light microscopy and H. canis was investigated in neutrophils and monocytes. Blood samples were obtained from H. canis-infected animals for laboratory tests that included total red blood cells and total white blood cells counts and hemoglobin concentration using an automatic counter1. Packed cell volume was determined by the microhematocrit method. Serum biochemical assays were done by spectrophotometric methods and included the determination of urea, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, alanine aminotransferase, gammaglutamyl transferase, serum protein, albumin and globulin.

From October 2000 to October 2001, 222 street dogs (102 males and 120 females) were examined, being 92 (41.5%) from Boituva, 86 (38.7%) from Diadema, 22 (9.9%) from São Manuel, and 22 (9.9%) from Botucatu.

Recebido em 10 de agosto de 2004 Aceito em 20 de dezembro de 2005 E-mail: odwyer@ibb.unesp.br

1

Cell Dyn 3500R – Abbott Diagnostics

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