Trypanosoma cruzi co-infections with other vector borne diseases are frequent in dogs from the pacific coast of Ecuador

Pilar Eliana Rivadeneira-Barreiro, Roberto Montes de Oca-Jiménez, Juan Carlos Vázquez-Chagoyán, Silvia Martínez-Subiela, Adolfo Morán-Loor, Laucel Ochoa-García, Pablo C. Zambrano-Rodríguez, Nisha Jain Garg, Jorge Antonio Varela-Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dogs are a reservoir for Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi), and other companion vector-borne diseases, including ehrlichiosis (Ehrlichia canis and Ehrlichia ewingii), anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Anaplasma platys), dirofilariasis (Dirofilaria immitis) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). This study has two key objectives: 1) to determine seroreactivity against T. cruzi in dogs from the town of Colón, in Portoviejo city, in the central coast of Ecuador; and 2) to establish the coinfection frequency of other companion vector-borne diseases in dogs positive for T. cruzi. Antibodies against T. cruzi were detected using two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Diagnostic consensus between ELISA tests was established using the Cohen's Kappa coefficient. Other haemoparasitic diseases were detected using the IDEXX SNAP® 4Dx® kit in dogs previously diagnosed as T. cruzi-seropositive. From 84 dogs sampled, 57.14% (48/84) tested positive for T. cruzi. Co-infection analysis of 25 dogs positive for T. cruzi revealed antibodies also against Ehrlichia spp. (48%), Anaplasma spp. (28%), and Dirofilaria immitis (12%). These results provide a novel perspective regarding the status of these pathogens which co-infect dogs in Colón. Since all these pathogens are zoonotic, our findings should warn regional health authorities to implement sanitary programs, to better prevent and control vectors associated to these pathogens. On the other hand, human and veterinarian doctors, should consider that patients with a cardiac infection condition could be suffering co-infections with two or more vector transmitted pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104884
JournalMicrobial Pathogenesis
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Anaplasma spp.
  • Dirofilaria immitis
  • Ecuador
  • Ehrlichia spp.
  • Trypanosoma cruzi
  • Vector-borne diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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