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Canine Leishmaniosis

Part of the Parasitology Research Monographs book series (Parasitology Res. Monogr.,volume 13)

Abstract

Canine leishmaniosis (CanL) is one of the most important and widespread zoonotic disease associated with the domestic dog as a reservoir. Canine Leishmania infantum infection presents frequently as a severe chronic clinical disease affecting the skin, hemolymphoid system, kidneys, and other internal organs, and associated with hyperglobulinemia, hypoalbuminemia, and anemia. High rates of subclinical infection are found in dogs living in endemic areas, however, the disease is also common in dogs imported into non-endemic countries. Both dogs with clinical and subclinical infections are infectious to sand flies that transmit the infection to humans and other animals. Infection can also be transmitted transplacentally, venereally, and through blood transfusions. Coinfections with tick-borne diseases have been shown to increase the risk of progression from infection to clinical disease and the risk of mortality. The diagnosis of the disease is done mainly by quantitative serology, aided by cytology of hemolymphoid organs and skin, and PCR. The currently recommended treatment of CanL includes long-term treatment with allopurinol combined for the first month with meglumine antimoniate or miltefosine. Treatment is aimed at decreasing the parasite load and allowing the dog’s immune system to recover, and is associated, if successful, with clinical cure and substantial decrease in antileishmanial antibody levels and parasite load, however, sometimes not with the parasite’s elimination. Treated dogs should be followed up by repeated serology, serum biochemistry, and urinalysis for more than 1 year after treatment initiation. A CanL staging system is helpful in evaluating the disease’s severity, deciding on treatment, and forecasting the dog’s prognosis. Prevention of the disease is done by the use of topical insecticides with pyrethroids and vaccination.

Keywords

  • Leishmania infantum
  • Leishmaniosis
  • Zoonosis
  • Allopurinol
  • Meglumine antimoniate
  • Miltefosine
  • Exfoliative dermatitis
  • LeishVet

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Correspondence to Gad Baneth .

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Baneth, G. (2021). Canine Leishmaniosis. In: Strube, C., Mehlhorn, H. (eds) Dog Parasites Endangering Human Health. Parasitology Research Monographs, vol 13. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53230-7_3

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