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Experimental infection with Rangelia vitalii in dogs: Acute phase, parasitemia, biological cycle, clinical-pathological aspects and treatment

  • SILVA, Aleksandro S. Da
  • FRANCA, Raqueli T.
  • COSTA, Marcio M.
  • PAIM, Carlos B.
  • PAIM, Francine C.
  • DORNELLES, Guilherme L.
  • SOARES, Joao F.
  • LABRUNA, Marcelo B.
  • MAZZANTI, Cinthia M.
  • MONTEIRO, Silvia G.
  • LOPES, Sonia T. A.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2011
Biblioteca Digital da Produção Intelectual da Universidade de São Paulo (BDPI/USP)
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Recently we conducted the molecular characterization of Rangelia vitalii, a protozoan with high pathogenicity for young dogs in southern Brazil. To date, the descriptions of the disease have been restricted to natural infection cases. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the parasitemia, biological cycles and clinical-pathological findings in dogs experimentally infected with R. vitalii in the acute phase of disease, and also aimed to test a therapeutic protocol based on the diminazene aceturate. For this study, we used 12 young dogs (females), separated into two groups. Group A was composed of healthy dogs, not-infected (n = 5), and Group B consisted of animals infected with R. vitalii (n = 7). After infection, the animals were monitored by blood smear examinations, which showed intra-erythrocytic forms of the parasite 5 days post-infection (PI). Parasitemia increased progressively in these animals and had the highest peak of circulating parasites between 9 and 11 days PI. Subsequently, the parasitemia reduced and the protozoan was seen inside the leukocytes in days 17, 19 and 21 PI. The most prominent clinical signs observed at the 20 day PI of experiment were lethargy, fever and anorexia. We observed a decrease of hematocrit of infected animals compared with not-infected dogs, featuring a moderate anemia. Pathological evaluation of one dog in Group B at day 21 PI revealed splenomegaly, hepatomegaly, lymphadenopathy, and hemorrhages at necropsy. Histological examination showed only follicular hyperplasia in the spleen and lymph nodes, and the etiologic agent in the vascular endothelium. At 21 days PI, it was performed the treatment of dogs in Group B (n = 6) with a single dose of diminazene aceturate, which showed a curative efficacy of 100% in cleaning R. vitalii from blood of infected dogs. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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