Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Vet Parasitol. 2011 May 31;178(1-2):1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.12.033. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Detection of Leishmania (L.) chagasi in canine skin.

Author information

Departamento de Biologia e Zootecnia, FEIS/UNESP-Ilha Solteira, 15385-000 São Paulo, SP, Brazil.


Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is caused by a protozoa parasite of the specie Leishmania (L.) chagasi endemic for humans and dogs in many regions of Brazil. The purpose of the present study was the detection of (L.) chagasi in canine skin tissues from three different groups of clinical signs: asymptomatic, oligosymptomatic and polysymptomatic Leishmania-infected dogs. Lesional or non-lesional skin tissue samples from 34 naturally infected dogs were obtained and processed by histochemistry (HE) and immunohistochemistry (IMHC) for direct parasitological examination and the results were compared with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. IMHC and HE methods detected intact Leishmania-amastigote parasites in lesional and no lesional skin, particularly in asymptomatic and oligosymptomatic dogs. 50% of skin samples collected from asymptomatic and 21.4% from oligosymptomatic dogs had parasites in their skins even though with mild inflammatory reaction or without any macroscopic dermatological alterations. On the other hand, 100% of polysymptomatic dogs showed several forms of clinical dermatological alterations and 91.7% had intact amastigotes with parasite load ranging from mild to intense. By PCR, DNA of Leishmania spp. was detected in 97.8% skin samples regardless clinical status of the dogs or IMHC/HE test results. PCR on skin was a sensitive procedure for CVL diagnosis, but direct observation of intact parasite in skin biopsies, particularly by IMHC, may be also considered to support the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center