Prevention of transmission of Babesia canis by Dermacentor reticulatus ticks to dogs after topical administration of fluralaner spot-on solution

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Abstract

Background: The preventive effect of fluralaner spot-on solution against transmission of Babesia canis by Dermacentor reticulatus ticks was evaluated. Findings: Sixteen dogs, tested negative for B. canis by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunofluorescence assay test (IFAT), were allocated to two study groups. On day 0, dogs in one group (n = 8) were treated once topically with fluralaner spot-on solution (Bravecto™ Spot-on Solution) according to label recommendations and dogs in the control group (n = 8) remained untreated. On days 2, 28, 56, 70 and 84, all dogs were infested with 50 (±4) D. reticulatus ticks harbouring B. canis, with tick in situ thumb counts 48 ± 4 h after each infestation. On day 90, ticks were removed from all dogs and counted. Prior to each infestation, the presence of B. canis in the respective tick batch was confirmed by PCR, and 12-16 % of ticks were found to be infected with B. canis. Efficacy against ticks was 99.5 and 99.3 % on days 4 and 58 after treatment, respectively and 100 % on all other days. Replacement dogs were included for any B. canis infected control dog (in total 19). All control dogs (n = 27) became infected with B. canis, as confirmed by PCR, performed every 7 days, and by IFAT, performed every 14 days after treatment. None of the eight treated dogs became infected with B. canis, as they were tested negative by PCR and IFAT throughout the study until day 112. By comparing infected dogs in the treated group with infected dogs in the untreated control group, a 100 % preventive effect against B. canis transmission was demonstrated. Conclusions: A single topical administration of fluralaner spot-on solution effectively prevented the transmission of B. canis by infected D. reticulatus ticks over a 12-week period.

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Taenzler, J., Liebenberg, J., Roepke, R. K. A., & Heckeroth, A. R. (2016). Prevention of transmission of Babesia canis by Dermacentor reticulatus ticks to dogs after topical administration of fluralaner spot-on solution. Parasites and Vectors, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13071-016-1481-x

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