Visceral leishmaniasis is an anthropozoonosis caused by Leishmania chagasi (= L. infantum). In dogs, domestic main reservoir, the Leishmania parasite is able to modify the host immune response. The innate immune system detects microorganisms through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) such as toll-like receptors (TLRs) that recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). TLRs up-regulate and activate pro-inflammatory responses in Leishmania infected macrophages, resulting in killing of the parasite. Several studies are based mainly on investigations into L. major infection in the mouse model, in contrast, there is a limited number of studies related to TLRs during L. infantum infection in dogs. As the immune response CNS would be signaled by the activity of peripheric immune response, we propose to evaluate the gene expression of TLRs and cytokine pro-inflammatory in peripheral blood macrophages of dogs with leishmaniasis. Also, in continuity with previous research on the evaluation of gene expression of TLRs and cytokines in the brain of dogs with leishmaniasis we intend to localize with immunohistochemistry the cell expression of TLR-2 in the brain and choroid plexuses.
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