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Parasitol Res. 2018 Jan;117(1):331-334. doi: 10.1007/s00436-017-5681-x. Epub 2017 Nov 21.

Canine Leishmania infantum infection: an imported case in UK after staying in the Canary Islands.

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Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Werribee, VIC, Australia.
IDEXX Laboratories, Sandbeck Way, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 7DN, UK.
Institute of Tropical Medicine and International Health, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Virchow-Campus, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany.
IDEXX Laboratories, Moerikestrasse 28/3, 71636, Ludwigsburg, Germany.
IDEXX Laboratories, Moerikestrasse 28/3, 71636, Ludwigsburg, Germany.


Leishmaniosis is reported in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, but the Canary Islands are deemed free. In the present communication, we report a clinical leishmaniosis due to Leishmania infantum in a dog that was presumptively infected during its stay on Tenerife. The result of Leishmania serology (whole-cell based ELISA with L. infantum antigen) was high positive (test score of 82.2 at a cut-off value of 12.0). This result was further confirmed with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for Leishmania spp. on a blood sample. A medium load of parasites was detected (48 parasites/ml blood). L. infantum was identified by RFLP analysis of the ITS-1 PCR product. Confirmation that leishmaniosis is endemic to the Canary Islands would further require study on local dogs with no travel history as well as reassessment on frequency and distribution of Phlebotomus spp. as well as Leishmania spp. detection in the sand fly vector. However, this case strongly suggests that L. infantum is present on the Canary Islands. Although transmission seems to be still exceptional, preventive measures in dogs travelling to the Canaries should be considered.


Canary Island; Canine leishmaniosis; Erosive dermatitis; Serology; qPCR

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