Canine Health Bytes On Demand: Canine Chagas Disease ...


Canine Chagas Disease: Studies of naturally infected dogs and kissing bug vectors

Chagas disease is caused by infection with the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). This parasite can infect both humans and animals and is transmitted by insect vectors called triatomine bugs or "kissing bugs." Despite over 100 years of research on T. cruzi, this parasite continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality in human and animal populations across the Americas.

Although triatomines and T. cruzi have long-occurred in the southern United States, there is currently unprecedented recognition for locally-acquired Chagas disease in humans and animals in the US. Peak human-vector encounters occur in mid-summer months, and most triatomines are encountered in the peridomestic and outdoor environment, especially dog kennels. Given the limited antiparasitic treatment options and lack of a Chagas disease vaccine, disease risk reduction must focus on controlling the vectors in the environment. 

In this presentation Dr. Sarah Hamer discusses the transmission cycle of the Chagas disease parasite, clinical abnormalities that can be seen in infected dogs, and the triatomine "kissing bug" insects that serve as vectors. 

Discussion will include what studies have revealed as to geographic hotspots, risk factors, and dogs as sentinels for human disease risk - including shelter dogs, dogs from impoverished communities along the TX-Mexico border, high value government working dogs, and most recently, hunting and working dogs in kennel environments across the southern United States.

Running time: 39 mins

Registration compliments of:  AKC Canine Health Foundation

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 can earn AAVSB RACE, NY State, and NJVMA-approved CE credit on a pay-per-view basis or inclusive of a VetVine Premium Membership.