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PLoS One. 2013;8(4):e60535. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060535. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Experimental infection of dogs with Leishmania and saliva as a model to study Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis.

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1
Centro de Pesquisa Gonçalo Moniz, FIOCRUZ-BA, Bahia, Brazil.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis (CVL) is a zoonotic disease caused by Leishmania infantum, transmitted by the bite of Lutzomyia longipalpis sand flies. Dogs are the main domestic reservoir of the parasite. The establishment of an experimental model that partially reproduces natural infection in dogs is very important to test vaccine candidates, mainly regarding those that use salivary proteins from the vector and new therapeutical approaches.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

In this report, we describe an experimental infection in dogs, using intradermal injection of Leishmania infantum plus salivary gland homogenate (SGH) of Lutzomyia longipalpis. Thirty-five dogs were infected with 1×10(7) parasites combined with five pairs of Lutzomyia longipalpis salivary glands and followed for 450 days after infection and clinical, immunological and parasitological parameters were evaluated. Two hundred and ten days after infection we observed that 31,4% of dogs did not display detectable levels of anti-Leishmania antibodies but all presented different numbers of parasites in the lymph nodes. Animals with a positive xenodiagnosis had at least 3,35×10(5) parasites in their lymph nodes. An increase of IFN-γ and IL-10 levels was detected during infection. Twenty two percent of dogs developed symptoms of CVL during infection.

CONCLUSION:

The infection model described here shows some degree of similarity when compared with naturally infected dogs opening new perspectives for the study of CVL using an experimental model that employs the combination of parasites and sand fly saliva both present during natural transmission.

PMID:
23577121
PMCID:
PMC3618420
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0060535
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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