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Open Access Research article

Molecular and serological surveillance of canine enteric viruses in stray dogs from Vila do Maio, Cape Verde

Pedro Castanheira1, Ana Duarte1*, Solange Gil1, Clara Cartaxeiro1, Manuel Malta2, Sara Vieira3 and Luis Tavares1

Author Affiliations

1 Centro de Investigação Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal (CIISA), Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

2 Veterinários Sem Fronteiras de Portugal, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

3 Delegação do Ministério do Desenvolvimento Rural, Ilha do Maio, Cape Verde

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:91  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-91

Published: 23 April 2014

Abstract

Background

Infections caused by canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus and canine coronavirus are an important cause of mortality and morbidity in dogs worldwide. Prior to this study, no information was available concerning the incidence and prevalence of these viruses in Cape Verde archipelago.

Results

To provide information regarding the health status of the canine population in Vila do Maio, Maio Island, Cape Verde, 53 rectal swabs were collected from 53 stray dogs during 2010 and 93 rectal swabs and 88 blood samples were collected from 125 stray dogs in 2011. All rectal swabs (2010 n = 53; 2011 n = 93) were analysed for the presence of canine parvovirus, canine distemper virus and canine coronavirus nucleic acids by quantitative PCR methods. Specific antibodies against canine distemper virus and canine parvovirus were also assessed (2011 n = 88).

From the 2010 sampling, 43.3% (23/53) were positive for canine parvovirus DNA, 11.3% (6/53) for canine distemper virus RNA and 1.9% (1/53) for canine coronavirus RNA. In 2011, the prevalence values for canine parvovirus and canine coronavirus were quite similar to those from the previous year, respectively 44.1% (41/93), and 1.1% (1/93), but canine distemper virus was not detected in any of the samples analysed (0%, 0/93). Antibodies against canine parvovirus were detected in 71.6% (63/88) blood samples and the seroprevalence found for canine distemper virus was 51.1% (45/88).

Conclusions

This study discloses the data obtained in a molecular and serological epidemiological surveillance carried out in urban populations of stray and domestic animals. Virus transmission and spreading occurs easily in large dog populations leading to high mortality rates particularly in unvaccinated susceptible animals. In addition, these animals can act as disease reservoirs for wild animal populations by occasional contact. Identification of susceptible wildlife of Maio Island is of upmost importance to evaluate the risk of pathogen spill over from domestic to wild animals in Cape Verde and to evaluate the associated threat to the wild susceptible species.

Keywords:
Canine coronavirus; Canine distemper virus; Canine parvovirus; Cape verde; Molecular surveillance