Molecular characterization of Leishmania infantum in domestic cats in a region of Brazil endemic for human and canine visceral leishmaniasis

Isabel Parizotto Metzdorf, Manoel Sebastião da Costa Lima, Maria de Fatima Cepa Matos, Antonio Francisco de Souza Filho, Rosianne A. de Souza Tsujisaki, Karina Garcia Franco, Julie Teresa Shapiro, Fernando de Almeida Borges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

Leishmaniasis is a “neglected tropical disease” and serious public health issue in Brazil. While dogs are recognized as particularly important reservoirs, recent reports of domestic cats infected with Leishmania sp. in urban areas suggest their participation in the epidemiological chain of the parasite in endemic areas. The aim of this study was to screen domestic cats for Leishmania sp. infection in an area where human and canine visceral leishmaniasis are endemic, followed by the identification of the species circulating in cats. We collected peripheral blood, lymph-node aspirates and bone marrow from 100 adult animals, both male and female, and analyzed the samples using cytological and molecular (PCR) detection techniques. We detected Leishmania in 6% of animals, which were then analyzed by RFLP-PCR to identify the species. Leishmania infantum (synonym: L. chagasi), a species responsible for visceral leishmaniasis in humans and other animals, was identified from all six samples. Amastigotes were observed in the peripheral blood, bone marrow and lymph-node aspirates in 4 of the 6 PCR-positive animals. The presence of infected cats in endemic areas should not be neglected, because it demonstrates the potential role of these animals in the biological cycle of the pathogen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-125
Number of pages5
JournalActa Tropica
Volume166
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Feline leishmaniasis
  • PCR
  • Protozoa
  • Reservoir host
  • Zoonosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Veterinary (miscellaneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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