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Retrospective evaluation of faecal PCR results in Western Australian dogs

Kim, Mark (2020) Retrospective evaluation of faecal PCR results in Western Australian dogs. Other thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Canine faecal PCR assays have recently become commercially available to investigate infectious causes of diarrhoea. Despite an increase in use, there remains uncertainty regarding the clinical relevance of positive test results. To explore this, we performed two retrospective studies: firstly, we described the faecal PCR results and clinical data of 168 dogs seen at The Animal Hospital at Murdoch University, and secondly, we established faecal PCR-based enteric organism profiles in 2025 Western Australian dogs. In the first study, 68% of dogs presented for acute diarrhoea. For the PCR results, Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin gene was most frequently detected (92.9%), followed by Campylobacter spp. (32.7%), canine parvovirus (CPV) (17.3%), Salmonella spp. (8.3%), and Giardia spp. (5.4%). Canine enteric coronavirus and canine distemper virus were rarely detected (<2%), while no dogs tested positive for Cryptosporidium spp.. Antimicrobials were started or switched in 31 dogs. Forty-five dogs were CPV antigen-test negative, of which 13 were PCR-positive. In the second study, a commercial laboratory provided 2025 canine faecal PCR results from dogs in Western Australia over a three-year period. Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin gene was most frequently detected (87.2%), followed by Campylobacter spp. (37.8%), CPV (10.5%), Giardia spp. (9.7%), Salmonella spp. (7.0%), canine enteric coronavirus (2.3%), canine distemper virus (0.3%) and no cases of Cryptosporidium spp.. Multiple organisms were detected in 46% of dogs. Clostridium perfringens alpha-toxin gene is highly prevalent in the Western Australian dog population that underwent faecal PCR testing. While Clostridium perfringens has been implicated in acute haemorrhagic diarrhoea syndrome, its clinical relevance is still unclear. Thus we propose a prospective clinical trial evaluating antimicrobial use in dogs with this syndrome. Also, a healthy dog PCR study will help veterinarians interpret positive faecal PCR results in dogs with acute diarrhoea.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Veterinary Medicine
Notes: Research Masters with Training
Supervisor(s): Sharp, Claire
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60041
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