Document Type : Short Communication


1 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati, India

2 Department of Veterinary Parasitology, College of Veterinary Science, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Gannavaram, India

3 Department of Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Science, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Gannavaram, India

4 State Level Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Faculty of Veterinary Microbiology, Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University, Tirupati, India


Implementing hemoprotozoan control strategies in dogs has become difficult because of the co-infections. A multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out for simultaneous detection of the co-infections of Babesia gibsoni, B. vogeli, Hepatozoon canis and Ehrlichia canis from dogs (N = 442) in Andhra Pradesh, South India. The co-infection combinations were classified as (i) B. gibsoni + B. vogeli + E. canis + H. canis (BEH), (ii) B. gibsoni + B. vogeli + E. canis (BE), (iii) B. gibsoni + B. vogeli + H. canis (BH) and (iv) E. canis + H. canis (EH) groups. The parasite-specific multiplex PCR amplified 18S rRNA gene of B. gibsoni, B. vogeli and H. canis and VirB9 gene of E. canis. The age, gender, breed, medium, living condition and region of dogs were studied as risk factors for co-infections using logistic regression model. Among the co-infections, the incidence was 1.81%, 9.28%, 0.69% and 0.90% for BEH, BE, BH and EH infections, respectively. Young age (< one year), females, mongrels, rural dogs, kennel dogs and presence of ticks were the identified risk factors for overall prevalence of tick-borne pathogens. The incidence of infection was less in rainy season, especially in dogs with a previous acaricidal treatment. The study concludes that the multiplex PCR assay could simultaneously detect natural co-infections in dogs, emphasizing the need for the assay in epidemiological studies to reveal the real pattern of pathogens and select pathogen-specific treatment protocols.


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