Deep Learning Technology: Sebastian Arnold, Betty van Aken, Paul Grundmann, Felix A. Gers and Alexander Löser. Learning Contextualized Document Representations for Healthcare Answer Retrieval. The Web Conference 2020 (WWW'20)
Funded by The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy; Grant: 01MD19013D, Smart-MD Project, Digital Technologies
The above signs, especially fever, respiratory signs, neurological signs, and thickened footpads occurring in unvaccinated dogs strongly indicate canine distemper. However, several febrile diseases match many of the signs of the disease and only recently has distinguishing between canine hepatitis, herpes virus, parainfluenza and leptospirosis been possible. Thus, finding the virus by various methods in the dog's conjunctival cells or foot pads gives a definitive diagnosis. In older dogs that develop distemper encephalomyelitis, diagnosis may be more difficult, since many of these dogs have an adequate vaccination history.
An additional test to confirm distemper is a brush border slide of the bladder transitional epithelium of the inside lining from the bladder, stained with Dif-Quick. These infected cells have inclusions which stain a carmine red color, found in the paranuclear cytoplasm readability. About 90% of the bladder cells will be positive for inclusions in the early stages of distemper.
A number of vaccines against canine distemper exist for dogs (ATCvet code: and combinations) and domestic ferrets (), which in many jurisdictions are mandatory for pets. Infected animals should be quarantined from other dogs for several months owing to the length of time the animal may shed the virus. The virus is destroyed in the environment by routine cleaning with disinfectants, detergents, or drying. It does not survive in the environment for more than a few hours at room temperature (20–25 °C), but can survive for a few weeks in shady environments at temperatures slightly above freezing. It, along with other labile viruses, can also persist longer in serum and tissue debris.
Despite extensive vaccination in many regions, it remains a major disease of dogs.
To prevent canine distemper, puppies should begin vaccination at six to eight weeks of age and then continue getting the “booster shot” every two to four weeks until they are 16 weeks of age. Without the full series of shots, the vaccination will not provide protection against the virus. Since puppies are typically sold at the age of eight to ten weeks, they typically receive the first shot while still with their breeder, but the new owner often does not finish the series. These dogs are not protected against the virus and so are susceptible to canine distemper infection, continuing the downward spiral that leads to outbreaks throughout the country.
The presence of an upper respiratory tract infection in a dog that has been vaccinated for the other major causes of kennel cough increases suspicion of infection with canine influenza, especially in areas where the disease has been documented. A serum sample from a dog suspected of having canine influenza can be submitted to a laboratory that performs PCR tests for this virus.
In June 2009, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved the first canine influenza vaccine. This vaccine must be given twice initially with a two-week break, then annually thereafter.
In Haiti, few cases of human rabies are reported to health authorities. In 2016, a report of a woman who had been exposed to rabies three months prior and was showing symptoms went to the hospital where no treatment was administered to her. Even after being reported to both the CDC and the national Department of Epidemiology and Laboratory Research (DELR), as required by Haiti's surveillance program, the woman ended up passing away. This goes to show the lack of communication and effectiveness in caring for human subjects in Haiti, and the continued focus is on eliminating dog-mediated rabies altogether.
Human diploid cell culture rabies vaccine (HDCV) and purified chick embryo cell culture rabies vaccine (PCEC) are used to treat post-exposure immunization against a human rabies infection. Recommendations for treatment are given by governmental health care organizations and in health literature. Health care providers are encouraged to administer a regimen of four 1-mL doses of HDCV or PCEC vaccines. According to the CDC, these injections should be administered intramuscularly to persons who have not yet been vaccinated for rabies.
For those who are unvaccinated, the first of four doses is administered immediately after exposure to the rabies virus. Additional doses are given three, seven, and fourteen days after the first vaccination. Exposure usually means a bite from a rabid animal.
At an individual patient level, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) consists of local treatment of the wound, vaccination, and administration of immunoglobulin, if necessary . At the program level, several components are critical, including: adequate and prompt recognition of the need for PEP by the public, if exposed, and by health officials, prompt and sufficient availability of high-quality PEP, and adequate follow-up of PEP use. Health officials' awareness of the need for PEP after a dog bite can only be achieved if the exposure is attended to immediately and communicated effectively.
Dogs will typically recover from kennel cough within a few weeks. However, secondary infections could lead to complications that could do more harm than the disease itself. Several opportunistic invaders have been recovered from the respiratory tracts of dogs with kennel cough, including Streptococcus, Pasteurella, Pseudomonas, and various coliforms. These bacteria have the potential to cause pneumonia or sepsis, which drastically increase the severity of the disease. These complications are evident in thoracic radiographic examinations. Findings will be mild in animals affected only by kennel cough, while those with complications may have evidence of segmental atelectasis and other severe side effects.
To increase their effectiveness, vaccines should be administered as soon as possible after a dog enters a high-risk area, such as a shelter. 10 to 14 days are required for partial immunity to develop. Administration of B. bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza vaccines may then be continued routinely, especially during outbreaks of kennel cough. There are several methods of administration, including parenteral and intranasal. However, the intranasal method has been recommended when exposure is imminent, due to a more rapid and localized protection. Several intranasal vaccines have been developed that contain canine adenovirus in addition to B bronchiseptica and canine-parainfluenza virus antigens. Studies have thus far not been able to determine which formula of vaccination is the most efficient. Adverse effects of vaccinations are mild, but the most common effect observed up to 30 days after administration is nasal discharge. Vaccinations are not always effective. In one study it was found that 43.3% of all dogs in the study population with respiratory disease had in fact been vaccinated.
Doxycycline and minocycline are the medications of choice. For people allergic to antibiotics of the tetracycline class, rifampin is an alternative. Early clinical experience suggested that chloramphenicol may also be effective, however, in vitro susceptibility testing revealed resistance.
No human vaccine is available for ehrlichiosis. Tick control is the main preventive measure against the disease. However, in late 2012 a breakthrough in the prevention of CME (canine monocytic ehrlichiosis) was announced when a vaccine was accidentally discovered by Prof. Shimon Harrus, Dean of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Koret School of Veterinary Medicine.
Globally, 59,000 people die from rabies each year. This is the equivalent of one person dying every nine minutes, with half of the people who die from rabies being under the age of 15. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Pan American Center of foot-and-mouth disease (PANAFTOSA) led a mission to eliminate dog-mediated rabies in the American region by 2015. These organizations are cognizant of the regional control of rabies. The PAHO and PANAFTOSA visited Haiti in early December, 2013, and the objectives of the mission were to assess the status of Haiti’s rabies program as delivered by the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) and the Ministry of Health (MSPP). The mission was to seek opportunities for collaboration between Haiti, Brazil, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Haiti.
Even in 2017, rabies in Haiti is still identified as a national problem, even with PEP proposed.
Diagnosis is achieved most commonly by serologic testing of the blood for the presence of antibodies against the ehrlichia organism. Many veterinarians routinely test for the disease, especially in enzootic areas. During the acute phase of infection, the test can be falsely negative because the body will not have had time to make antibodies to the infection. As such, the test should be repeated. A PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test can be performed during this stage to detect genetic material of the bacteria. The PCR test is more likely to yield a negative result during the subclinical and chronic disease phases. In addition, blood tests may show abnormalities in the numbers of red blood cells, white blood cells, and most commonly platelets, if the disease is present. Uncommonly, a diagnosis can be made by looking under a microscope at a blood smear for the presence of the "ehrlichia" morulae, which sometimes can be seen as intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies within a white blood cell.
Possible complications include the horse becoming a chronic carrier of the disease, asphyxia due to enlarged lymph nodes compressing the larynx or windpipe, bastard strangles (spreading to other areas of the body), pneumonia, guttural pouch filled with pus, abscesses, purpura haemorrhagica, and heart disease. The average length for the course of this disease is 23 days.
The prognosis is good for dogs with acute ehrlichiosis. For dogs that have reached the chronic stage of the disease, the prognosis is guarded. When bone marrow suppression occurs and there are low levels of blood cells, the animal may not respond to treatment.
Both intramuscular and intranasal vaccines are available. Isolation of new horses for 4 to 6 weeks, immediate isolation of infected horses, and disinfection of stalls, water buckets, feed troughs, and other equipment will help prevent the spread of strangles. As with any contagious disease, handwashing is a simple and effective tool.
Cat flu is the common name for a feline upper respiratory tract disease. While feline upper respiratory disease can be caused by several different pathogens, there are few symptoms that they have in common.
While Avian Flu can also infect cats, Cat flu is generally a misnomer, since it usually does not refer to an infection by an influenza virus. Instead, it is a syndrome, a term referring to the fact that patients display a number of symptoms that can be caused by one or more of the following infectious agents (pathogens):
1. Feline herpes virus causing feline viral rhinotracheitis (cat common cold, this is the disease that is closely similar to cat flu)
2. Feline calicivirus—(cat respiratory disease)
3. "Bordetella bronchiseptica"—(cat kennel cough)
4. "Chlamydophila felis"—(chlamydia)
In South Africa the term cat flu is also used to refer to Canine Parvo Virus. This is misleading, as transmission of the Canine Parvo Virus rarely involves cats.
There is currently no known treatment for Aleutian virus. When evidence of ADV shows in a ferret, it is strongly recommended that a CEP (counterimmunoelectrophoresis) blood test or an IFA (immunoflourescent antibody) test be done. The CEP test is usually faster and less expensive than the IFA test, but the IFA test is more sensitive and can detect the disease in borderline cases.
Additionally modern methods such as Real-Time PCR allow for rapid and accurate detection as well as determination of the amount of viron present.
Prevention is best accomplished by stopping the spread of ADV. Any new ferret, or those who have been confirmed as serum positive for the virus should be perpetually isolated from other ferrets. All items that may have come into contact with the infected ferret should be cleaned with a 10% bleach solution.
This is a growing concern within mink producers as it is the most crucial infectious disease which affects farmed mink worldwide.
In the United States, certain breed clubs are strongly recommending screening for "Leishmania", especially in imported breeding stock from endemic locations. For reasons yet unidentified The Foxhound and Neapolitan Mastiff seem to be predisposed or at higher risk for disease. The Italian Spinone Club of America is also requesting all breeders and owners to submit samples for testing; the club reported 150 Spinone Italiano dogs have tested positive in the United States.
In the United States, the following veterinary colleges and government bodies assist with testing and treatment of "Leishmania"-positive dogs:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Leishmaniasis in dogs
- Iowa State University Department of Pathology
- North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Diagnostic testing includes molecular biology and genetic techniques which provide high accuracy and high sensitivity/specificity. The most commonly employed methods in medical laboratories include Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays, aka ELISA (among other serological assays) and DNA amplification via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).
The Polymerase Chain Reaction(PCR) method for detecting "Leishmania" DNA is a highly sensitive and specific test, producing accurate results in a relatively short amount of time.
A study completed in which Foxhounds were tested using PCR showed that approximately 20% of the tested dogs were positive for leishmaniasis; the same population tested with serological/antibody assays showed only 5% positive.
Diagnosis can be complicated by false positives caused by the leptospirosis vaccine and false negatives caused by testing methods lacking sufficient sensitivity.
Aleutian disease, also known as mink plasmacytosis, is a disease which causes spontaneous abortion and death in minks and ferrets. It is caused by "Carnivore amdoparvovirus 1" (also known as "Aleution diease virus", ADV), a highly contagious parvovirus in the genus "Amdoparvovirus".
The virus has been found as a natural infection in the "Mustelidae" family within mink, ferrets, otters, polecats, stone and pine martens and within other varying carnivores such as skunks, genets, foxes and raccoons. This is most commonly explained as because they all share resources and habitats.
In areas where the known vector is a sandfly, deltamethrin collars worn by the dogs has been proven to be 86% effective. The sandfly is most active at dusk and dawn; keeping dogs indoors during those peak times will help minimize exposure.
Unfortunately, there is no one answer for leishmaniasis prevention, nor will one vaccine cover multiple species. "Different virulence factors have been identified for distinct "Leishmania" species, and there are profound differences in the immune mechanisms that mediate susceptibility/resistance to infection and in the pathology associated with disease."
In 2003, Fort Dodge Wyeth released the Leshmune vaccine in Brazil for "L. donovani" (also referred to as "kala-azar" in Brazil). Studies indicated up to 87% protection. Most common side effects from the vaccine have been noted as anorexia and local swelling.
The president of the Brazil Regional Council of Veterinary Medicine, Marcia Villa, warned since vaccinated dogs develop antibodies, they can be difficult to distinguish from asymptomatic, infected dogs.
Studies also indicate the Leshmune vaccine may be reliable in treating "L. chagasi", and a possible treatment for dogs already infected with "L. donovani".
This bacterium is present in soil and is transmitted to horses through open wounds, abrasions or mucous membranes.
It is important to reduce the amount of environmental contamination to prevent the spread of insects or fomites. Owners should regularly apply insect repellent and routinely check their horses for open wounds to prevent chance of infection. A regular manure management program is recommended, including removal of soiled feed and bedding, as the bacteria can survive in hay and shavings for up to two months. Since the disease lives in the ground and is spread by flies, pest control is a good defense but not a guarantee. Horses being introduced to new environments should be quarantined and any infected horses should be isolated to prevent spread of the bacteria. There is currently no vaccination for Pigeon Fever.
Rinderpest was one of more than a dozen agents the United States researched as potential biological weapons before terminating its biological weapons program.
Rinderpest is of concern as a biological weapon for the following reasons:
- The disease has high rates of morbidity and mortality.
- The disease is highly communicable and spreads rapidly once introduced into nonimmune herds.
- Cattle herds are no longer immunized against RPV and therefore are susceptible to infection.
Rinderpest was also considered as a biological weapon in the United Kingdom's program during World War II.
Death rates during outbreaks were usually extremely high, approaching 100% in immunologically naïve populations. The disease was mainly spread by direct contact and by drinking contaminated water, although it could also be transmitted by air.
Initial symptoms include fever, loss of appetite, and nasal and eye discharges. Subsequently, irregular erosions appear in the mouth, the lining of the nose, and the genital tract. Acute diarrhea, preceded by constipation, is also a common feature. Most animals die six to twelve days after the onset of these clinical signs.
Epizootic catarrhal enteritis (ECE) is a viral disease that first appeared in the northeastern US in 1994, is an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the intestine. The condition manifests itself as severe diarrhea (often of a bright green color), loss of appetite, and severe weight loss. The virus can be passed via fluids and indirectly between humans. Although it was often fatal when first discovered, ECE is less of a threat today.
The coronavirus which causes ECE has a counterpart strain that has more systemic effects with a higher mortality rate. This systemic syndrome has been compared to Feline infectious peritonitis in cats.