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Approaches in Poultry, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences

Canine Leishmaniasis in Brazil

Judiele Soares1, Mariana Caetano Teixeira2, André Pelegrini1 and Clairton Marcolongo-Pereira1*

1Centro Universitário do Espírito Santo (UNESC), Brazil

2Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis (UniRitter), Brazil

*Corresponding author:Clairton Marcolongo- Pereira, Centro Universitário do Espírito Santo (UNESC), Colatina, ES, Brasil

Submission: July 10, 2019;Published: July 16, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/APDV.2019.06.000638

ISSN: 2576-9162
Volume6 Issue2


Canine Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease caused by Leishmaniainfantum and is transmitted by phlebotomine sand flies primarily between animals and secondarily to humans. In Brazil, approximately 3,500 cases of LV have been reported annually since 2002 affecting humans, with an average incidence of two cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a lethality rate of 5.5% in the last 12 years. The control of canine visceral Leishmaniasis is based on the detection of infected animals, followed by their euthanasia and in the control of the transmitting vector. Such control, however, is a difficult task due to the great variety of reservoirs of the parasite in nature.

Keywords: zoonosis; protozoa; flebuotominae; Lutzomyia longipalpis; Lutzomyia cruzi

Mini Review

Leishmaniasis is a group of diseases that can infect humans when they come into contact with the parasite’s transmission cycle. It is considered an anthropozoonosis. Currently, it is among the six most important endemic diseases in the world [1]. This disease is caused by protozoa of the order Kinetoplastida, family Tripanossomatidae, genus Leishmania, species Leishmaniainfantum, that infect man and different species of wild and domestic mammals of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world [2].

The lethality rate of this disease can reach up to 100% when untreated [3]. Visceral Leishmaniasis (LV) affects around 500,000 new individuals each year, according to official data from the World Health Organization [4]. In Brazil, approximately 3,500 cases of LV have been reported annually since 2002, with an average incidence of two cases per 100,000 inhabitants and a lethality rate of 5.5% in the last 12 years [4].

The etiological agents of LV are trypanosomatid protozoa of the genus Leishmania, an obligate intracellular parasite of the cells of the mononuclear phagocytic system with a flagellate or promastigote form found in the digestive tract of the insect vector and another form or amastigote in the tissues of the vertebrate hosts [5]. The amastigote form is ovoid or spherical in shape, measuring approximately 3-6.5 μm by 1.3-3 μm. It presents nucleus, kinetoplast and rudimentary flagellum.

Vertebrate hosts may include a wide variety of animals, such as rodents, edentates, marsupials, canids and primates, including humans [5]. In urban areas, dogs (Canis familiaris) can be considered the main source of infection and responsible for maintaining the zoonotic cycle of this disease. Canine enzootia has preceded the occurrence of human cases and infection in dogs has been more prevalent than in humans [6]. In the wild, the reservoirs are foxes (Dusicyon vetulus and Cerdocyon thous) and marsupials (Didelphis albiventris).

The vectors of LV are flebuotominae, popularly known as straw mosquito or birigui [7]. source of L. (L.) chagasi in Brazil, and recently L. cruzi was considered a vector in the State of Mato Grosso do Sul. In Brazil, the geographical distribution of L. longipalpis is broad and seems to be in great expansion [7].


The authors thanks the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa e Inovação do Espírito Santo (FAPES) and the Centro Universitário do Espírito Santo (UNESC) for supporting this study and for the scholarship.


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