Canine leishmaniasis: pathological and ecological factors influencing transmission of infection

J Parasitol. 1991 Aug;77(4):557-61.


Canine leishmaniasis was studied in 1,823 dogs from the Lisbon metropolitan region. The breeds most affected were doberman and German shepherd, independent of sex and use. Young adult (12.2%) and older dogs (14.7%) had higher prevalences of infection. Parasitological confirmation of serological diagnosis was higher in dogs with indirect fluorescent antibody test titer greater than or equal to 1:512, indicating that parasitological patency is a late event. Exposure of Leishmania in lymph nodes is more efficient for parasitological confirmation (75.4% of cases). Frequent signs of disease were enlarged lymph nodes and onychogriphosis. However, 53.8% of the dogs with significant antibody titers (greater than or equal to 1:128) showed no symptom, suggesting that canine leishmaniasis has a prolonged asymptomatic period. This study confirmed the importance of the dog as the reservoir of visceral leishmaniasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Dog Diseases / transmission*
  • Dogs / parasitology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / diagnosis
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*
  • Lymph Nodes / parasitology
  • Population Dynamics
  • Portugal