Objectives Transfusion of blood products is an important component of veterinary emergency medicine. Donors must be carefully selected to minimise risk of transmission of blood-borne infectious agents. This study was devised to assess the prevalence of such agents in healthy, non-travelled UK dogs screened as prospective donors.
Methods Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid blood samples from dogs donating blood between August 2007 and January 2012 were screened by polymerase chain reaction for haemotropic mycoplasmas, Bartonella, Babesia, Leishmania, Ehrlichia and Anaplasma spp. Dogs with positive or inconclusive results underwent repeat polymerase chain reaction testing.
Results Four of 262 dogs had positive or inconclusive results at initial screening. Repeat polymerase chain reaction testing in each dog was negative, and none of the dogs developed clinical signs of disease.
Clinical Significance The positive results on initial screening may have represented false positives from sample contamination or amplification of non-target DNA. It is also possible that dogs were infected at initial sampling but successfully cleared infection before repeat testing. The low number of positive results obtained suggests that prevalence of these agents in a population of healthy UK dogs is low and that use of blood products is unlikely to represent a significant risk of transmission of these diseases.
- MYCOPLASMA-HAEMOCANIS INFECTION
- HEMOLYTIC TRANSFUSION REACTION
- VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS