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Research of natural infection in cats and sandflies by Leishmania infantum (syn. Leishmania chagasi) and Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis from Marilia Forest Park

Grant number: 11/22354-3
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Simone Baldini Lucheis
Grantee:Wesley José dos Santos
Host Institution: APTA Regional. Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil


Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi) is the causative agent of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the New World, with endemic areas stretching from the southern U.S. to northern Argentina. The leishmaniasis are of great importance in public health for its zoonotic nature, and currently are showing increasing spread in different regions of Brazil, especially in São Paulo State. According to the World Health Organization, the LV is one of seven endemic world, exposed to the risk of infection one to two million people worldwide. In Brazil, cutaneous leishmaniasis has been reported in almost all states and has been growing steadily over the past 20 years, outbreaks occurring in all regions of the country. Despite reports of sporadic incidents of infections of feline leishmaniasis (LF), further studies are needed to consider cats as reservoirs important in leishmaniasis. They virtually do not show clinical signs, despite being infected, thus becoming an important source of infection for other domestic animals, humans or vice versa. Given to the specificity of the clinical findings of the LF, as with some very common disease in cats such as feline leukemia virus (FIV), feline immunodeficiency syndrome (FeLV), some infections such as histoplasmosis, sporotrichosis and cryptococcosis, and therefore the difficulty in establishing a definitive diagnosis of LF, this zoonosis should be included in clinical suspicion of cats who have skin lesions compatible and / or living in endemic areas for human and canine visceral leishmaniasis. The present study proposes to study 50 cats coming from Marilia Forest Park, where until now there is no related cases of human and canine leishmaniasis. Therefore, as a measure of surveillance, in view of the current detection of sandflies in Marilia Forest Park, the large concentration of cats and pedestrians on site and due to a newly registered autochthonous case of human visceral leishmaniasis, we decided to investigate visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis in these cats. So, control measures undertaken in monitoring programs will be not neglected, associated with specific diagnostic investigation for the capture and identification of sand flies through traps placed in the Park; the precipitin test to identify the feeding habits of captured sandflies and culture of their intestinal contents, search of anti- Leishmania antibodies using the Indirect Immunofluorescence (IFA) for Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi) and Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis; ELISA and Polymerase Chain Reaction for Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi) and for Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis from the intestinal content of sandflies. (AU)

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