On the basis of a systematic review of the literature, this paper provides the first evidence-based maps of the distribution of the major vector-borne parasitic infections of dogs and cats in Europe. From an initial survey of 894 publications, data from 268 were analysed, summarised and collated. Prevalence data were used to calculate the force of infection to provide distribution and incidence maps for canine infections with Leishmania infantum, Dirofilaria immitis, Dirofilaria repens, Babesia canis and Ehrlichia canis. There was little information from some areas but, in spite of its acknowledged incompleteness, the study provides an evidence-based framework upon which to assess the risks of infection, and will provide a basis, by correlation with climatic and vegetation data, to derive more comprehensive risk assessment maps for Europe. To clinicians in both endemic and non-endemic countries, it will be of assistance in decision-making with respect to diagnosis and preventive measures.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.