Rocky Mountain spotted fever in areas of high and low prevalence: survey for canine antibodies to spotted fever rickettsiae

D J Kelly, J V Osterman, E H Stephenson
American Journal of Veterinary Research 1982, 43 (8): 1429-31
Antibodies to Rickettsia rickettsii were detected by indirect immunofluorescence in sera from 149 of 467 dogs (32%) examined from 4 military installations located in Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The prevalence at individual installations ranged from 4.3% at Fort Knox, Ky, to 63.4% at Fort Bragg, NC. Most of the seropositive dogs were in the working and sporting groups of dogs. The difference in antibody prevalence between sexes was not significant. Serologic responses were related to R rickettsii infection, although antibodies to R montana also were detected in a few of the sera. Comparison of serodiagnostic methods indicated that the indirect fluorescent antibody test was more sensitive than was the indirect hemagglutination test for obtaining survey data on the prevalence of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in the area.

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