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PLoS One. 2011 May 10;6(5):e18873. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018873.

Influence of clinical status and parasite load on erythropoiesis and leucopoiesis in dogs naturally infected with leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi.

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Laboratório de Imunopatologia, Núcleo de Pesquisas em Ciências Biológicas, Departamento de Análises Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil.



The bone marrow is considered to be an important storage of parasites in Leishmania-infected dogs, although little is known about cellular genesis in this organ during canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL).


The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in erythropoiesis and leucopoiesis in bone marrow aspirates from dogs naturally infected with Leishmania chagasi and presenting different clinical statuses and bone marrow parasite densities. The evolution of CVL from asymptomatic to symptomatic status was accompanied by increasing parasite density in the bone marrow. The impact of bone marrow parasite density on cellularity was similar in dogs at different clinical stages, with animals in the high parasite density group. Erythroid and eosinophilic hypoplasia, proliferation of neutrophilic precursor cells and significant increases in lymphocytes and plasma cell numbers were the major alterations observed. Differential bone marrow cell counts revealed increases in the myeloid:erythroid ratio associated to increased numbers of granulopoietic cells in the different clinical groups compared with non-infected dogs.


Analysis of the data obtained indicated that the assessment of bone marrow constitutes an additional and useful tool by which to elaborate a prognosis for CVL.

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