[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) has been extensively studied, muscular damage due to Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum chagasi infection remains to be fully established. The aim of this study was to describe the electromyographic and histological changes, as well as search for the presence of amastigote forms of Leishmania spp, CD3+ T-lymphocytes, macrophages and IgG in skeletal muscles of dogs with visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Four muscles (triceps brachial, extensor carpi radialis, biceps femoris and gastrocnemius) from a total of 17 naturally infected and six healthy dogs were used in this study. Electromyographic alterations such as fibrillation potentials, positive sharp waves and complex repetitive discharges were observed in, at least, three muscles from all infected dogs. Myocyte necrosis and degeneration were the most frequent muscular injury seen, followed by inflammatory reaction, fibrosis and variation in muscle fibers size. Immunohistochemistry in muscle samples revealed amastigote forms in 4/17 (23.53%), IgG in 12/17 (70.58%), CD3+ T-lymphocytes in 16/17 (94.12%) and macrophages in 17/17 (100%) dogs. Statistically positive correlation was observed between: inflammatory infiltrate (p=0.0305) and CD3+ immunoreaction (p=0.0307) in relation to the number of amastigote forms; inflammatory infiltrate (p=0.0101) and macrophage immunoreaction (p=0.0127) in relation to the amount of CD3+; and inflammatory infiltrate (p=0.0044) and degeneration / necrosis (p<0.0001) in relation to the presence of macrophages. Our results suggest that different mechanisms contribute to the development of myocytotoxicity, including celular and humoral immune responses and direct muscular injury by the parasite. Nevertheless, the catabolic nature of the disease can probably interact with other factors, but cannot be incriminated as the only responsible for myositis.
Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Pathology. 10/2012; 5(3):108-115.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of the present study was to determine the coinfection of Leishmania sp. with Toxoplasma gondii, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) in a population of cats from an endemic area for zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis. An overall 66/302 (21.85%) cats were found positive for Leishmania sp., with infection determined by direct parasitological examination in 30/302 (9.93%), by serology in 46/302 (15.23%) and by both in 10/302 (3.31%) cats. Real time PCR followed by amplicon sequencing successfully confirmed Leishmania infantum (syn Leishmania chagasi) infection. Out of the Leishmania infected cats, coinfection with FIV was observed in 12/66 (18.18%), with T. gondii in 17/66 (25.75%) and with both agents in 5/66 (7.58%) cats. FeLV was found only in a single adult cat with no Leishmania infection. A positive association was observed in coinfection of Leishmania and FIV (p<0.0001), but not with T. gondii (p>0.05). In conclusion, cats living in endemic areas of visceral leishmaniasis are significantly more likely to be coinfected with FIV, which may present confounding clinical signs and therefore cats in such areas should be always carefully screened for coinfections.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia represent important infectious diseases caused by retroviruses. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of infection by feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in cats from the municipality of Araçatuba, São Paulo. Blood samples from 302 cats were collected and tested for the presence of antibodies against feline immunodeficiency virus and antigen of feline leukemia virus by ELISA ® Snap-Combo FIV-FeLV (IDEXX Laboratories). The frequency of FIV positivity was 5.63% (17/302) and of FeLV was 0.33% (1/302). Of the 17 cats infected with FIV, nine (52.94%) were symptomatic. There was a prevalence of FIV infection in males (p = 0.0316) and cats aged between one and three years (p = 0.0324).
Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science 10/2011; 48(5):378-383.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is caused by Leishmania donovani complex parasites including L. donovani, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania chagasi. As some studies suggest that L. chagasi and L. infantum may be very similar or even the same species, the aim of the present study was to evaluate a commercial rapid ELISA test, originally designed for L. infantum, in the diagnosis of CVL in dogs naturally infected by L. chagasi. A total of 400 serum canine samples, including 283 positive dogs for CVL from an endemic area, 86 clinically healthy dogs from a non-endemic area and 31 dogs seropositive for confounding infectious agents (Trypanosoma cruzi, Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Babesia canis and Ehrlichia canis) were used for test validation. An overall sensitivity of 94.7% (95% CI=91.41-97.01%) and specificity of 90.6% (95% CI=83.80-95.21%) was found, with a high degree of agreement (k=0.8445) to the indirect ELISA. When confounding infectious diseases were excluded, specificity increased to 100% (95% CI=95.8-100%), with a higher degree of agreement (k=0.8928). In conclusion, the commercial kit designed for L. infantum was a highly sensitive and specific device for detection of L. chagasi infection in dogs, which indicates high immunoreactivity similarities between L. infantum and L. chagasi.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the description of several cases of feline leishmaniasis around the world, littje information is available about the importance of the cat as a reservoir of the disease. The aim of the present study was to determine the occurrence of leishmaniasis in cats from an endemic area for visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil. Two hundred cats were included in this study. Infection was evaluated through the presence of amastigotes in stained smears from fine-needle aspirates of lymph nodes, bone marrow, spleen and liver, and by antibody reactivity against Leishmania chagasi using indirect ELISA. Our results showed a prevalence of infection in 14,5% (31/200) of the feline population studied, with 4% (8/200) of positivity by parasitological diagnosis and 11,5% (23/200) by serology.
Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Research and Animal Science 03/2010; 47(3):213-217.