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Vet Parasitol. 2000 Jun 10;90(1-2):37-45.

The Ibizian hound presents a predominantly cellular immune response against natural Leishmania infection.

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Departament de Farmacologia i Terapèutica, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Bellaterra, Spain.


Veterinarians working in the Balearic Islands (Mallorca), an endemic region of canine leishmaniosis, have reported very few cases of leishmaniosis in Ibizian hounds while concurrently observing that dogs of other breeds had a high incidence of clinical canine leishmaniosis. To further investigate this observation, two populations of dogs from the Balearic Islands were examined for the presence of Leishmania-specific cellular immunity using a delayed type hypersensitivity test (DTH) to leishmanin and for the presence of Leishmania-specific humoral immunity using an ELISA. Fifty-six asymptomatic dogs, 31 Ibizian hounds and 25 dogs belonging to other breeds were examined. Seventy-seven percent of the dogs demonstrated a specific immune response against Leishmania, either humoral or cellular. This finding suggests that the infection rate (77%) was higher than previously considered. For Ibizian hounds 81% were DTH positive while only 48% of the other dogs were DTH positive. A statistical association between Ibizian hounds and positive DTH response was found. A specific humoral response was found in 48% of Ibizian hounds and in 56% of the other dogs. No statistical association relative to the Leishmania-specific IgG1 and IgG2 levels were found between the two groups. The Ibizian hound has been reported to be more resistant to Leishmania infection and we found that the Ibizian hound mounts a significant cellular response to infection. Thus, the Ibizian hound may be an interesting canine model for the investigation of protective anti-Leishmania immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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