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Comparison of selected canine vector-borne diseases between urban animal shelter and rural hunting dogs in Korea

Sun Lim1, Peter J Irwin2, SeungRyong Lee3, MyungHwan Oh3, KyuSung Ahn3, BoYoung Myung4 and SungShik Shin3*

Author Affiliations

1 Biotherapy Human Resources Center (BK21), Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea

2 Australasian Centre for Companion Animal Research, School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch 6150, WA, Australia

3 College of Veterinary Medicine, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Korea

4 Gwangju Animal Shelter, Gwangju 500-757, Korea

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Parasites & Vectors 2010, 3:32  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-3-32

Published: 8 April 2010


A serological survey for Dirofilaria immitis, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Ehrlichia canis, and Borrelia burgdorferi infections in rural hunting and urban shelter dogs mainly from southwestern regions of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) was conducted. From a total of 229 wild boar or pheasant hunting dogs, the number of serologically positive dogs for any of the four pathogens was 93 (40.6%). The highest prevalence observed was D. immitis (22.3%), followed by A. phagocytophilum (18.8%), E. canis (6.1%) and the lowest prevalence was B. burgdorferi (2.2%). In contrast, stray dogs found within the city limits of Gwangju showed seropositivity only to D. immitis (14.6%), and none of the 692 dogs responded positive for A. phagocytophilum, E. canis or B. burgdorferi antibodies. This study indicates that the risk of exposure to vector-borne diseases in rural hunting dogs can be quite high in Korea, while the urban environment may not be suitable for tick infestation on dogs, as evidenced by the low infection status of tick-borne pathogens in stray dogs.