Study on Hepatozoon canis in dogs in Urmia region

Document Type : Research Paper


1 D.V.M. Graduate, Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, ‎Urmia, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Diseases and Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, ‎Urmia, Iran

4 Professor, Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


The aim of the present study was to detect Hepatozoon canis infection in dogs in Urmia municipality, northwestern Iran. The effects of age, sex, lifestyle, and tick infestation as risk factors in the incidence of the disease were studied. During years 2018 and 2019, a total of 246 whole blood samples were taken from the jugular vein of each examined dog (103 stray dogs, 99 shelter dogs, and 44 pets) and subjected to microscopic and molecular examinations. Ixodid ticks were also collected from the body surface and identified. Microscopically, infected neutrophils with Hepatozoon spp. were detected in 5 of 246 (2/03%) thin stained blood smears. Molecularly, 23 out of 246 (9.34%) blood samples were found to be infected with H. canis. There was no significant difference in different age groups and the sex of sampled dogs. However, stray dogs had a higher significant infection rate than pets and shelter ones. In body inspection, all ticks were belonging to the specie of Rhipicephalus sanguineus. The obtained sequence was transferred to GenBank/NCBI (samples accession numbers MT001887). BLAST analysis of obtaining sequences isolated from dogs indicated a 100% similarity with H. canis 18S rRNA gene sequences in GenBank. Based on our results canine hepatozoonosis was common in dogs in the study area.


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