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Kennel dogs as sentinels of Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum in Majorca Island, Spain

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Kennel dogs can serve as sentinels and/or reservoirs of diseases of veterinary and zoonotic interest because they have often roamed free and lived outdoors, thus being exposed to pathogens. We tested dogs from the kennel of Inca (Majorca/Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain) for evidence of infection with three protozoan parasites: Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum. Exposure to L. infantum was found in 56.3% of 48 dogs (37.5% by Western blot, 43.8% by PCR). Only 30% of infected dogs had leishmaniosis-like lesions. Seroprevalence to T. gondii was 58.7% of 46 dogs using the modified agglutination test (MAT, titer 1:25). None of the 44 dogs tested had N. caninum antibodies using a commercial competitive ELISA, probably because the surveyed dogs did not roam in the proximity of cattle farms. Results confirm the endemicity of L. infantum and also the widespread presence of T. gondii in the Mediterranean island of Majorca.

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We wish to thank Toni Más and Javier Álvarez from Fundació Natura Parc, and Dr. Bartomeu Seguí from Conselleria de Medi Ambient (Govern de les Illes Balears). This work was partially funded by Conselleria de Medi Ambient, Govern de les Illes Balears (contract No. 5893/2008), grant AGL2007-65521 and Compagnia di San Paolo.

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Correspondence to Javier Millán.

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Cabezón, O., Millán, J., Gomis, M. et al. Kennel dogs as sentinels of Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum in Majorca Island, Spain. Parasitol Res 107, 1505–1508 (2010).

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