Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease, was recently identified in an English cocker spaniel that had resided in and never left the state of Virginia. T cruzi infection is widespread in wildlife throughout North America, although rarely acquired by humans or dogs within the United States. In endemic areas, dogs are considered a major reservoir in the domestic transmission cycle and may act as reservoirs for human infection. Genotyping the dog isolate in this study matched a common raccoon genotype, suggesting that raccoons may serve as a viable reservoir of the parasite for domestic dogs.

Isolation, mouse pathogenicity, and genotyping of Trypanosoma cruzi from an English Cocker Spaniel from Virginia, USA. Patel JM, Rosypal AC, Zimmerman KL, et al. VET PARASITOL 187:394-398, 2012.