Detection of vector-borne pathogens in owned dogs with cranial cruciate ligament rupture living in the Mediterranean area



    Abstract Background Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCLR) results from a multifactorial degenerative process that leads to rupture of the ligament. Vector-borne pathogens (VBP) in dogs can induce joint disease but their role in CCLR has not been previously investigated. The aim of the present work is to evaluate the prevalence of VBP in dogs with CCLR. Methods This was a prospective study that included 46 dogs presented for CCLR surgical treatment and 16 control dogs euthanized for diseases unrelated to the joints. Specimens collected included blood, synovial fluid, and synovial membrane biopsy. Pathogen testing consisted of serology for Leishmania infantum (quantitative ELISA), Ehrlichia canis/ewingii, Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum/platys, and Dirofilaria immitis (4DX IDEXX test), and PCR for L. infantum, Ehrlichia/Anaplasma spp., Bartonella spp., piroplasms (Babesia spp. and Theileria spp.), and filariae (D. immitis, Dirofilaria repens, Acanthocheilonema dracunculoides, Acanthocheilonema reconditum, and Cercopithifilaria spp.) on both EDTA-whole blood (EB) and synovial fluid (SF) samples. SF cytology and histopathological evaluation of synovial membrane were also performed. Results The prevalence of VBP was 19.6% in the CCLR group and 18.8% in the control group, with no statistical difference among them. The presence of synovitis was not more frequent in CCLR dogs (45.6%) than in control dogs (43.7%). Lymphoplasmacytic infiltration was the most common inflammatory pattern detected in the joints of both groups of dogs. Conclusions This study failed to demonstrate a role of canine VBP in CCLR or the presence or different pattern of joint inflammation in pathogen-positive dogs. Graphical Abstract
    Date made available10 May 2022

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