Original Paper

Parasitology Research

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 253-257

A leishmaniosis surveillance system among stray dogs in the region of Madrid: ten years of serodiagnosis (1996–2006)

  • G. MiróAffiliated withFacultad de Veterinaria, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, UCM Email author 
  • , A. MontoyaAffiliated withFacultad de Veterinaria, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, UCM
  • , M. MateoAffiliated withFacultad de Veterinaria, Departamento de Sanidad Animal, UCM
  • , A. AlonsoAffiliated withDepartamento de Ciencias de proteínas, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC
  • , S. GarcíaAffiliated withSección de Zoonosis y Riesgos Biológicos, Instituto de Salud Pública
  • , A. GarcíaAffiliated withSección de Zoonosis y Riesgos Biológicos, Instituto de Salud Pública
  • , M. J. CaballeroAffiliated withLaboratorio Municipal de Higiene, Ayuntamiento de Madrid
  • , R. MolinaAffiliated withServicio de Parasitología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III

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Abstract

Two seroepidemiological surveys on canine leishmaniosis in stray dogs were performed annually in the Madrid region for 10 years (November 1996–April 2006). The presence of anti-Leishmania antibodies was detected by immunofluorescence antibodies test (cut off 1:100). The overall seroprevalence found in the 1,803 dogs studied was 7.8% (141 positive dogs). Seropositivity was not associated with either breed or sex. Statistical analysis revealed greater seroprevalence in groups of older dogs, indicating that the probability of exposure to the bite of sand flies infected with Leishmania infantum increased with age. The most important result was a high proportion of seropositivity for leishmaniosis (79.5%) among dogs without clinical signs of canine leishmaniosis. These data are very important because stray dogs can play an important role in the epidemiology of this zoonotic disease. Furthermore, the stray population could be useful sentinels to follow the progress of the disease in endemic areas.