Serological Evidence of Rickettsia spp. in Western Australian Dogs

Mark Bennett, Mohammad Yazid Abdad, John Stenos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


It has been claimed that dogs can be useful sentinels for public health monitoring of vector-borne infectious diseases, including Rickettsia spp. We used 153 canine blood samples opportunistically collected at Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital and 156 canine sera collected from Aboriginal communities in north west Western Australia to test for evidence of Rickettsia spp. exposure, using microimmunofluorescence in the latter case, and both microimmunofluorescence and PCR in the former. Conventional and real-time PCR failed to amplify any Rickettsia spp. DNA. The seroprevalence for Spotted Fever Group/Transitional Group Rickettsia spp. in WA dogs was 17.3% (54/312), and for Typhus Group Rickettsia spp., 18.4% (57/310), with a cut-off titre of 1:128. Young dogs ( ≤ 2 years) from Aboriginal communities had significantly lower seropositivity to Typhus Group Rickettsia spp. compared to all other groups, and young Perth dogs had a significantly higher seropositivity to Typhus Group Rickettsia spp. than all Aboriginal community dogs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number2
Early online date2 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • dogs
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • Rickettsial diseases
  • seroepidemiologic studies
  • Western Australia

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