Angiostrongylus vasorum is a nematode that lives in the pulmonary arteries and right cardiac ventricle of domestic dogs and wild canids. It is increasingly being reported in several European countries and North America. This parasite induces inflammatory verminous pneumonia, causing severe respiratory disease in dogs. In some instances, coagulopathies, neurological signs and even death may occur. Scant data are available regarding the occurrence of A. vasorum in Portugal. Therefore, sera of 906 shelter dogs from North to South mainland Portugal were collected. ELISAs to detect A. vasorum circulating antigen and specific antibodies against this parasite were performed. A total of six dogs [0.66 %, 95 % confidence intervals (CI) 0.24-1.43] were positive for both A. vasorum antigen and antibody detection, indicating an active infection, and 12 dogs (1.32 %, CI 0.68-2.30) were A. vasorum antibody-positive only. Regions with antigen- and antibody-positive animals overlapped and were distributed over nearly all sampled areas in the country. This is the first large-scale ELISA-based serological survey for A. vasorum in dogs from Portugal. The endemic occurrence of A. vasorum in dogs from different geographical areas of Portugal is therefore confirmed.
- Journal Article