Background: Interest in the welfare and diseases of donkeys is constantly increasing in several countries. Despite this, clinical research into donkeys needs to be in continual development since they show different reactions compared to horses in many conditions, including infectious diseases, and need specific clinical and therapeutic approaches. No reports are currently available on clinical and clinical pathology data regarding donkeys with natural piroplasms infection. Results: Venous blood samples were taken from one hundred and thirty eight donkeys and underwent indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) to detect IgG antibodies against Theileria equi and Babesia caballi and real-time polimerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect Babesia spp. and Theileria spp.. Clinical examinations, haematological analyses and serum bilirubin evaluation were also performed and compared with positive or negative status. A seroprevalence of 40.6% and 47.8% was found for T. equi and B. caballi, respectively; double positivity was detected in 19.6% of the animals. PCR results showed that 17.4% of the animals tested positive for T.equi and 3.6% for B. caballi with no double positivity. Twelve donkeys (8.7%) had clinical signs consistent with chronic forms of the disease and no acute forms were detected. Fifty-eight donkeys had haematological and serum bilirubin alterations and 56 (96.6%) of them were IFAT and/or PCR positive. Changes in erythrocyte number, packed cell volume, hemoglobin concentration, mean corpuscular hemoglobin, platelets number and total bilirubin were significantly associated with positive and symptomatic animals. Conclusion: Nonspecific clinical presentation seems to be very common in donkeys and several clinical pathology alterations persist after natural infection. Therefore, apparently healthy donkeys can have masked but severe clinical pathology alterations. Acute forms are very seldom observed in donkeys. Clinical monitoring of chronically infected donkeys is recommended since such animals represent a risk both for transmission to other animals and for their own health; furthermore, their production performances could be reduced. The study should also be intended as a contribution for veterinary practitioners because it describes the most usual clinical presentations and laboratory findings of equine piroplasmosis in naturally infected donkeys in endemic areas.
|Titolo:||Clinical investigation on Theileria equi and Babesia caballi infections in Italian donkeys|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo|