Clinical and serological aspects of visceral leishmaniasis in northeast Brazilian dogs naturally infected with Leishmania chagasi.
ABSTRACT Human visceral leishmaniasis is endemic in the northeast of Brazil, where the domestic dog is an important parasite reservoir in the infectious cycle of Leishmania chagasi. In this study, we evaluated the clinical signs of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL), serum protein profile and the antileishmanial IgG antibody production in 86 dogs living in northeast endemic areas of leishmaniasis. Thirty dogs from a leishmaniasis-free area were used as a control group. The major clinical signs of CVL seen were emaciation and skin ulcers (80%), followed by onychogryphosis and conjunctivitis (73%). Depilation was observed in 60% of animals while lymphadenomegaly, splenomegaly, liver enlargement or kidney involvement was less frequent (< or =20%). VL seropositive dogs presented with serum hyperproteinemia, hypoalbuminemia, hypergammaglobulinemia and decreased albumin/globulin ratio. A lower sensitivity and higher specificity was observed for promastigote indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) (83 and 100%, respectively) compared with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (94 and 90%), which uses a crude extract of Leishmania. There was a positive correlation between IFAT and ELISA titers of antileishmanial IgG antibodies (Spearman test, P < 0.05), which was augmented in CVL dogs. This study found that the determination of serum protein, A/G ratio and the use of two different leishmanial serological tests like IFAT and ELISA are essential in CVL screening.
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ABSTRACT: Specific reference intervals are needed for each animal species for the appropriate interpretation of the results obtained from serum biochemical tests. The aim of this study was to investigate the blood composition of pure-bred Arabian mares to evaluate the need for defining reference values for different age groups. In all, 90 clinically healthy mares from five farms were used in the trial. For the determination of the effect of age, 90 mares were assigned to six groups. Groups A, B, C, D, E, and F comprised 15 foals aged ≤5 months (mean ± SD: 2.45 ± 1.88), 15 foals aged 6 to 18 months (mean ± SD: 9.33 ± 2.93), 15 mares aged 2 to 5 years (mean ± SD: 3.91 ± 0.7), 15 mares aged 6 to 12 years (mean ± SD: 8.66 ± 2.3), 15 mares aged 14 to 20 years (mean ± SD: 17.81 ± 2.13), and 15 mares aged >20 years (mean ± SD: 22.8 ± 1.93), respectively. Glucose, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), albumin, creatinine, total bilirubin, direct bilirubin, total protein, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus concentrations were measured in the blood serum samples. There were significant age-related alterations for most of the biochemical parameters, except for ALT, LDH activities, and glucose, albumin, magnesium, and iron levels. The results of the present study showed that direct bilirubin (P < .01), ALP, and phosphorus decreased significantly (P < .001), whereas BUN, calcium (P < .01), creatinine, total protein, and total bilirubin increased (P < .001) with age. In foals, ALP activity, direct bilirubin, and phosphorus levels were higher, whereas BUN, creatinine, total protein, total bilirubin, and calcium levels were lower as compared with older animals. Biochemical values determined in the present study serve as reference ranges for pure-bred Arabian mares and can be used for health control and diagnosis of diseases.Journal of Equine Veterinary Science - J EQUINE VET SCI. 01/2010; 30(10):569-574.
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ABSTRACT: Belo Horizonte, the capital of the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and the fourth-largest city in the country, has the highest incidence of human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) together with a high prevalence of canine VL. The Northeast Sanitary District (NSD) of Belo Horizonte has the largest historical average of human VL cases in the metropolitan region, and is classified as a priority area for epidemiological and entomological monitoring of the disease. The objectives of the present study were to determine the seasonal variation in phlebotomine fauna and to describe the environmental situations in the NSD through characterization of peri-domiciles and application of geographical information system analysis. Entomological captures were performed every two weeks during the period July 2006 to June 2007 using HP light traps placed at 16 locations where cases of human VL had been reported in 2005. The environmental characterization of these locations was accomplished using forms and photographic images. Spatial analyses was used to determine the influence of vegetation, hydrography, altitude and pockets of poverty on the occurrence of cases of human and canine VL, and of phlebotomine vectors. A total of 633 phlebotomines belonging to the subtribes Psychodopygina and Lutzomyina were captured and, of these, 75% were identified as Nyssomyia whitmani and 11% as Lutzomyia longipalpis. The majority of the studied peri-domiciles presented inadequate hygienic conditions that would favor the development of phlebotomines. No significant correlations could be established between biogeographical aspects and either the incidence of human and canine VL or the occurrence of phlebotomines. The proximity of areas with vegetation, villages, slums and open watercourses exerted little influence on the incidence of VL. These findings reinforce the urbanization of the VL profile since the disease occurred in locations where conditions that have been classically related to its prevalence were not present. The results reported herein will be important for implementing measures against VL in the study area.Acta tropica 02/2011; 117(2):137-45. · 2.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The skin has an important role in the transmission of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) as the infection pathway in dogs. To better characterize the inflammatory response of intact skin in VL, sixty infected dogs (30 symptomatic and 30 asymptomatic) and six non-infected controls were studied. Diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis was confirmed by RIFI and ELISA; direct visualization of the parasite in bone marrow aspirate; imprints of popliteal lymph nodes, spleen, liver and skin; culture in NNN-phase liquid Schneider's medium; and PCR (performed only in the ear skin). Amastigote forms of the parasite in intact skin were found only in symptomatic dogs. Inflammatory infiltrates were observed in all groups, varying from intense and/or moderate in symptomatic to discrete and/or negligible in asymptomatic and control animals. Parasite load was associated with the intensity of the inflammatory response and with clinical manifestations in canine visceral leishmaniasis. AgNOr as active transcription markers were expressed in inflammatory cells and within apoptotic bodies in all groups, including controls, with no statistical difference. Therefore, cell activation and transcription do occur in both symptomatic and asymptomatic canine visceral leishmaniasis and may result in more necrosis and inflammation or in apoptosis and less symptoms, depending on the parasite load.Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases 12/2010; 17(3):308-317. · 0.55 Impact Factor