Canine leishmaniosis in South America.

Department of Veterinary Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bari, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy. .
Parasites & Vectors (Impact Factor: 3.25). 02/2009; 2 Suppl 1:S1. DOI: 10.1186/1756-3305-2-S1-S1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT ABSTRACT : Canine leishmaniosis is widespread in South America, where a number of Leishmania species have been isolated or molecularly characterised from dogs. Most cases of canine leishmaniosis are caused by Leishmania infantum (syn. Leishmania chagasi) and Leishmania braziliensis. The only well-established vector of Leishmania parasites to dogs in South America is Lutzomyia longipalpis, the main vector of L. infantum, but many other phlebotomine sandfly species might be involved. For quite some time, canine leishmaniosis has been regarded as a rural disease, but nowadays it is well-established in large urbanised areas. Serological investigations reveal that the prevalence of anti-Leishmania antibodies in dogs might reach more than 50%, being as high as 75% in highly endemic foci. Many aspects related to the epidemiology of canine leishmaniosis (e.g., factors increasing the risk disease development) in some South American countries other than Brazil are poorly understood and should be further studied. A better understanding of the epidemiology of canine leishmaniosis in South America would be helpful to design sustainable control and prevention strategies against Leishmania infection in both dogs and humans.

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