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Prevalence of vector-borne diseases in shelter dogs in Korea
  1. B. Y. Jung1,
  2. E. B. Gebeyehu1,
  3. M. G. Seo1,
  4. J. W. Byun1,
  5. H. Y. Kim1 and
  6. D. Kwak1
  1. 1Animal Disease Diagnostic Centre, National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, Anyang, Gyeonggi 430-824, Korea
  2. 2College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehakno, Bukgu, Daegu702-701, Korea
  1. E-mail for correspondence: dmkwak{at}knu.ac.kr

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Canine vector-borne diseases (CVBD) are an emerging problem in veterinary medicine and their zoonotic potential poses a global threat to human health (Bowman and others 2009). Among these CVBD, mosquito-borne canine dirofilariasis caused by Dirofilaria immitis, granulocytic anaplasmosis caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Lyme borreliosis caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, and canine monocytic ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia canis are causes of serious sickness in dogs. The castor bean tick (Ixodes ricinus), three-host tick (I scapularis) and brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus) are the predominant tick vectors for the transmission of A phagocytophilum, B burgdorferi and E canis, respectively (Bowman and others 2009, Pantchev and others 2009). The realm of these vectors and CVBD is changing rapidly as a consequence of the increased mobility of dogs, climate change and protection of biotopes (Bowman and others 2009, Andreoli and Weston 2010). Additionally, CVBD are becoming highly prevalent with an increasing distribution throughout the world causing major socioeconomic impacts (Pantchev and others 2009).

In Korea, information on the distribution and prevalence of CVBD is scarce. Since the earliest report of canine heartworm disease in the Chinju area of the Gyeongnam province in 1962 (Bak and Lee 1962), the country has been considered endemic for D immitis infection. B burgdorferi and E canis have also been reported in German shepherds in Korea, with a prevalence of 4.24 per cent and 12.28 per cent, respectively (Lee and others 2007). Recently, CVBDs in rural hunting and urban shelter dogs have also been reported (Lim and others 2010). Climate changes due to global warming that favour the further spread of arthropod vectors and limited studies on the prevalence of CVBD have led to an apparent need to determine the prevalence of CVBD. This study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of D immitis, …

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