Leishmania spp. are zoonotic protozoans that infect humans and other mammals such as dogs. The most significant causative species in dogs is L. infantum. In dogs, leishmaniosis is a potentially progressive, chronic disease with varying clinical outcomes. Autochthonous cases of canine leishmaniosis have not previously been reported in the Nordic countries.
In this report we describe the first diagnosed autochthonous cases of canine leishmaniosis in Finland, in which transmission via a suitable arthropod vector was absent. Two Finnish boxers that had never been in endemic areas of Leishmania spp., had never received blood transfusions, nor were infested by ectoparasites were diagnosed with leishmaniosis. Another dog was found with elevated Leishmania antibodies. A fourth boxer dog that had been in Spain was considered to be the source of these infections. Transmission occurred through biting wounds and semen, however, transplacental infection in one of the dogs could not be ruled out. Two of the infected dogs developed a serious disease and were euthanized and sent for necropsy. The first one suffered from membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis and the second one had a chronic systemic disease. Leishmania sp. was detected from tissues by PCR and/or IHC in both dogs. The third infected dog was serologically positive for Leishmania sp. but remained free of clinical signs.
This case report shows that imported Leishmania-infected dogs may pose a risk for domestic dogs, even without suitable local arthropod vectors.
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Three cases of lethal sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF) in free-ranging moose (Alces alces) were diagnosed in Lesja, Norway, December 2008-February 2010. The diagnosis was based on PCR identification of ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) DNA (n?=?3) and typical histopathologic lesions (n?=?1). To study the possibility of subclinical or latent MCF virus (MCFV) infection in this moose population and in red deer (Cervus elaphus), we examined clinically normal animals sampled during hunting in Lesja 2010 by serology and PCR. Sera from 63 moose and 33 red deer were tested for antibodies against MCFV by competitive-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. To test for MCFVs, a consensus PCR for herpesviral DNA was run on spleen samples from 23 moose and 17 red deer. All samples were antibody and PCR negative. Thus, there is no evidence of previous exposure, subclinical infection, or latent infection in this sample. This seasonal cluster of SA-MCF cases (2008-10) may be attributable to exposure of moose to lambs when OvHV-2 shedding is presumed to be maximal, compounded by an unusual extended grazing period by sheep in the autumn.
In Europe, bat rabies is primarily attributed to European bat lyssavirus type 1 (EBLV-1) and European bat lyssavirus type 2 (EBLV-2) which are both strongly host-specific. Approximately thirty cases of infection with EBLV-2 in Daubenton's bats (Myotis daubentonii) and pond bats (M. dasycneme) have been reported. Two human cases of rabies caused by EBLV-2 have also been confirmed during the last thirty years, while natural spill-over to other non-flying mammals has never been reported. Rabies has never been diagnosed in mainland Norway previously.
In late September 2015, a subadult male Daubenton's bat was found in a poor condition 800 m above sea level in the southern part of Norway. The bat was brought to the national Bat Care Centre where it eventually displayed signs of neurological disease and died after two days. EBLV-2 was detected in brain tissues by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by sequencing of a part of the nucleoprotein gene, and lyssavirus was isolated in neuroblastoma cells.
The detection of EBLV-2 in a bat in Norway broadens the knowledge on the occurrence of this zoonotic agent. Since Norway is considered free of rabies, adequate information to the general public regarding the possibility of human cases of bat-associated rabies should be given. No extensive surveillance of lyssavirus infections in bats has been conducted in the country, and a passive surveillance network to assess rabies prevalence and bat epidemiology is highly desired.
Dirofilaria repens infection was diagnosed in a dog that had been imported to Norway from Hungary three years previously. The dog was a four-year-old castrated male mixed-breed dog and presented for examination of two masses on the right thoracic wall. Fine needle sampling from the subcutaneous nodules and subsequent cytological examination revealed a high number of microfilariae and a pyogranulomatous inflammation. At re-examination approximately 3 weeks later, both masses had apparently disappeared spontaneously, based on both inspection and palpation. However, examination of peripheral blood by a modified Knott's test revealed a high number of unsheathed microfilariae with mean length of 360 µm and mean width of 6-7 µm, often with the classic umbrella handle appearance of D. repens. Polymerase chain reaction and sequencing confirmed the D. repens diagnosis. Subcutaneous dirofilariosis caused by D. repens is probably the most common cause of human zoonotic dirofilariosis in Europe, but currently is rarely encountered in northern countries such as Norway. However, travelling, import and relocation of dogs have increased, and thus the geographical range of these parasites is likely to increase from traditionally endemic southern regions. Increasing numbers of autochthonous cases of D. repens infections in dogs have been reported in eastern and central Europe. Although infection with D. repens often induces only mild signs or subclinical infections in dogs, they nevertheless represent a reservoir for zoonotic transmission and thus a public health concern, and, in addition, due to the long prepatent period and the high frequency of subclinical infections or infections with unspecific clinical signs, could easily be missed. Lack of experience and expectation of these parasites may mean that infection is underdiagnosed in veterinary clinics in northern countries. Also, predicted climate changes suggest that conditions in some countries where this infection is currently not endemic are likely to become more suitable for development in the intermediate host, and thus the establishment of the infection in new areas.
This research was initiated in conjunction with a systematic, multiagency surveillance effort in the United States (U.S.) in response to reported findings of infectious salmon anaemia virus (ISAV) RNA in British Columbia, Canada. In the systematic surveillance study reported in a companion paper, tissues from various salmonids taken from Washington and Alaska were surveyed for ISAV RNA using the U.S.-approved diagnostic method, and samples were released for use in this present study only after testing negative. Here, we tested a subset of these samples for ISAV RNA with three additional published molecular assays, as well as for RNA from salmonid alphavirus (SAV), piscine myocarditis virus (PMCV) and piscine orthoreovirus (PRV). All samples (n = 2,252; 121 stock cohorts) tested negative for RNA from ISAV, PMCV, and SAV. In contrast, there were 25 stock cohorts from Washington and Alaska that had one or more individuals test positive for PRV RNA; prevalence within stocks varied and ranged from 2% to 73%. The overall prevalence of PRV RNA-positive individuals across the study was 3.4% (77 of 2,252 fish tested). Findings of PRV RNA were most common in coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch Walbaum) and Chinook (O. tshawytscha Walbaum) salmon.
In 2015, the lumpy skin disease virus spread throughout the Russian Federation. Following a modified stamping-out campaign, the disease re-emerged with a greater incidence across 16 regions of Southern and Central Russia. A total of 313 outbreaks were reported to OIE. The highest outbreak frequency was observed in the republics of Chechnya (108), Kalmykiya (57), and Ingushetiya (35). The disease cases predominantly occurred in June and July 2016, starting from May to December; however, no association between outbreaks and altitudes was identified (p > .05). Samples taken from infected cattle were subjected to PCR analysis, which identified the genome of the virus most frequently in skin nodules (78%), nasal swabs (23.4%), blood (13%) and sera (14.5%). Interestingly, LSDV genome was occasionally identified in lung and milk samples. Based on the PRO30 sequence analysis, lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) strains circulating in Russia were all identical and fell within the cluster of field LSDV found worldwide.
Chlamydia psittaci in birds may be transmitted to humans and cause respiratory infections, sometimes as severe disease. Our study investigated the C. psittaci prevalence in migratory birds in Sweden by real-time PCR. Fecal specimens or cloacal swabs were collected from 497 birds from 22 different species, mainly mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), at two bird observatories in Sweden. DNA from C psittaci was found in six (1.2%) birds from three different species. Five of the positive specimens were infected with four novel strains of C. psittaci, based on sequencing of partial 16S rRNA gene and ompA gene, and the sixth was indentified as a recently described Chlamydiaceae-like bacterium. Considering exposure to humans it is concluded that the risk of zoonotic infection is low.
The swine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genomic region (SLA) is extremely polymorphic comprising high numbers of different alleles, many encoding a distinct MHC class I molecule, which binds and presents endogenous peptides to circulating T cells of the immune system. Upon recognition of such peptide-MHC complexes (pMHC) naïve T cells can become activated and respond to a given pathogen leading to its elimination and the generation of memory cells. Hence SLA plays a crucial role in maintaining overall adaptive immunologic resistance to pathogens. Knowing which SLA alleles that are commonly occurring can be of great importance in regard to future vaccine development and the establishment of immune protection in swine through broad coverage, highly specific, subunit based vaccination against viruses such as swine influenza, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, vesicular stomatitis virus, foot-and-mouth-disease virus and others. Here we present the use of low- and high-resolution PCR-based typing methods to identify individual and commonly occurring SLA class I alleles in Danish swine. A total of 101 animals from seven different herds were tested, and by low resolution typing the top four most frequent SLA class I alleles were those of the allele groups SLA-3*04XX, SLA-1*08XX, SLA-2*02XX, and SLA-1*07XX, respectively. Customised high resolution primers were used to identify specific alleles within the above mentioned allele groups as well as within the SLA-2*05XX allele group. Our studies also suggest the most common haplotype in Danish pigs to be Lr-4.0 expressing the SLA-1*04XX, SLA-2*04XX, and SLA-3*04XX allele combination.
Porcine circovirus 3 (PCV3) is a newly detected circovirus belonging to the family Circoviridae with a circular ssDNA genome of 2000 bp that encodes two proteins-the replicase protein and the capsid protein. PCV3 was discovered for the first time in the US in 2016. After this initial discovery, PCV3 was detected in other parts of the world such as in China, South Korea, Italy and Poland. In this study, 49 tissue samples from Swedish pig herds were screened for PCV3 using PCR and 10 samples were positive and one was uncertain. The entire PCV3 genome and a mini PCV-like virus (MPCLV) were obtained from one of these samples. These two viruses showed a high sequence identity to PCV3 viruses from other countries as well as to MPCLV from the US. However, the sequence identity to PCV1 and 2 was only 31-48% on amino acid level. This is the first detection and complete genetic characterisation of PCV3 in Swedish pigs. It is also interesting to note that one of the positive samples was collected in 1993, showing that PCV3 has been present for a long time.
Infections with the three feline haemotropic mycoplasmas Mycoplasma haemofelis, Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum and Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis cause feline infectious anemia. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of carriage of feline haemoplasma in Danish cats in different age groups. The presence was detected by a conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay on blood samples as well as by real-time PCR (RT-PCR).
The study revealed a prevalence of 14.9% Candidatus Mycoplasma haemominutum positive cats and 1.5% Mycoplasma haemofelis positive cats. No cats were found positive for Candidatus Mycoplasma turicensis. The results showed a statistically significant higher prevalence in older (>8 years) cats compared to younger cats and a higher prevalence among domestic cats compared to purebred cats. As part of this study, we developed a cloning strategy to obtain Danish positive controls of haemoplasma 16S rRNA.
From convenience-sampled cats in Denmark, we found that 16.4% were carriers of feline haemotropic mycoplasmas. Haemoplasma was mostly found in older and domestic cats. The prevalence found in Denmark is similar to that found in several other European countries.