Canine Brucellosis: Insights Into the Epidemiologic Situation in Europe
Brucella canis is one of many responsible pathogens of discospondylitis in dogs and infections require specific management. Little is known about the epidemiologic situation in Europe. The purpose of the study was to get insights into the occurrence of brucellosis in dogs in Europe. The database of a European veterinary laboratory was screened for Brucella positive samples. Additionally, medical records of a veterinary hospital in Germany were screened for diagnosis of discospondylitis and brucellosis. The laboratory received samples from 20 European countries for Brucella testing in dogs: 3.7% of submitted samples were Brucella spp. PCR-positive (61/1,657), and Brucella canis antibodies were identified in 5.4% of submitted samples (150/2,764). Brucella spp. PCR-positive samples originated from Spain (11.1% of submitted samples), Poland (6.7% of submitted samples) and rarely from Italy and France. Samples with Brucella canis antibodies originated from 13 European countries (Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Finland, Germany, Denmark, Hungary, Norway, Poland, France, Netherlands). Young dogs (0–24 months) had a 5.4-fold increased risk of PCR positive samples. The supplementary medical records search identified four young female dogs (7–30 months) with Brucella canis discospondylitis in Germany. The four dogs had been imported to Germany from Eastern European countries (Moldavia, Romania, Macedonia). In conclusion, infection with Brucella canis needs to be considered in dogs in Europe and diagnostics for Brucella canis infection appear indicated in young dogs with discospondylitis.