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Canine trypanosomiasis in an endemic Costa Rican community: Demonstration of the active infection cycle

Bonilla, Marta C., Castro-Vásquez, Ruth M., Herrero-Acosta, Marco Vinicio, Urbina-Villalobos, Andrea, Dolz, Gaby
Veterinary Parasitology: Regional Studies and Reports 2019 v.17 pp. 100307
Triatominae, cross-sectional studies, dogs, dry season, fluorescent antibody technique, hemagglutination, light microscopy, longitudinal studies, polymerase chain reaction, seroconversion, seroprevalence, trypanosomiasis, Costa Rica
A cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of canine trypanosomiasis in an endemic community of Costa Rica. The indirect hemagglutination and indirect immunofluorescence assay yielded positive results in 6.4% (20/314) of canine samples analyzed; polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and light microscopy yielded positive results in one dog. Subsequently, a longitudinal study was carried out with 55 negative T. cruzi canines in the cross-sectional study. These dogs were divided into two groups: Group 1, which consisted of 25 individuals that lived in dwellings where triatomines were found in their homes; and Group 2, which consisted of 30 dogs that lived in dwellings where triatomines were not found during the previous study in their homes. Seroconversion occurred in six dogs (10.9%) in Group 1 in the first months of the year (dry season); these dogs remained seropositive until the end of the study. Only one of the six seropositive canines was also found positive once in T. cruzi PCR. The analysis of the amplified T. cruzi sequences of dogs and triatomines showed that all of them belonged to the TcI lineage. It is recommended that residents be made aware of the need to eliminate vectors in their homes and their surroundings.