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INVESTIGATION OF CRITHIDIA SP IN DOGS NATURALLY INFECTED BY LEISHMANIA SP IN AN ENDEMIC AREA FOR VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS

Grant number: 23/18001-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2024
Effective date (End): March 31, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Valéria Marçal Felix de Lima
Grantee:Lucas Ferreira Gomes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMVA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araçatuba. Araçatuba , SP, Brazil

Abstract

The Trypanosomatidae family encompasses the protozoa of the species of Leishmania sp, which cause commonly neglected tropical parasitic diseases. Brazil is the main endemic country for Leishmania infantum on the American continent. Another protozoan belonging to the Trypanosomatidae family is the genus Crithidia sp, which parasitizes the digestive tract of several insects worldwide. It was believed that its cycle would be of the monoxene type, but in vitro studies and the detection of this parasite in wild mammalian animals indicate that its cycle may be diexene. Coinfection of Crithidia sp and Leishmania sp has already been observed in humans in countries such as Thailand, Brazil and Iran, demonstrating the zoonotic potential for transmission of trypanosomatids, highlighting Crithidia sp as a new scenario to be studied. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that mixed infections in humans show greater severity. Cases of infection by Crithidia sp associated with Leishmania have been reported in dogs in an endemic area of leishmaniasis, but in Brazil, where dogs are the main reservoir of the protozoan, the mixed infection has not been extensively studied, there is only one report in which the sample number investigated is low. Therefore, it is essential to investigate whether co-infection with Crithidia sp is present in naturally infected dogs, as in dogs mixed infection could also have an impact on the severity of visceral leishmaniasis. Therefore, the present work aims to identify the co-infection of Leishmania sp and Crithidia sp in DNA samples from dogs naturally infected by Leishmania sp from an endemic area and evaluate whether the mixed infection may be associated with severity in dogs.

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