Canine leishmaniasis

Adv Parasitol. 2004:57:1-88. doi: 10.1016/S0065-308X(04)57001-X.


Canine leishmaniasis is caused by Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi, in America) and is transmitted by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies. Infected dogs constitute the main domestic reservoir of the parasite and play a key role in transmission to humans, in which the parasite produces visceral leishmaniasis. The increasing awareness that control of the human disease depends on effective control of canine leishmaniasis has promoted, in the last few years, research into leishmanial infection in dogs. Newly available specific reagents and molecular tools have been applied to the detailed investigation of canine leishmaniasis and important advances have been made in elucidating the epidemiology and pathology of the disease. These new findings have led to better understanding of the disease, and have also helped in the development of new diagnostic methods and control measures against the infection, such as insecticide-impregnated collars for dogs, new drugs and treatment protocols, and second generation vaccines, with the hope of not only reducing the heavy burden of the disease among dogs but also reducing the incidence of human visceral leishmaniasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases* / prevention & control
  • Dog Diseases* / transmission
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Leishmania infantum*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / prevention & control
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*