The aim of this study was to identify splenic immuno-inflammatory patterns associated with natural infection by Leishmania chagasi. Spleen samples were obtained from 72 stray dogs from an endemic area of visceral leishmaniasis. The animals were grouped into four categories as follows: (i) potentially resistant to visceral leishmaniasis, with a positive leishmanin skin test result, and negative splenic culture for Leishmania parasites (ii) potentially susceptible to visceral leishmaniasis, with a negative leishmanin skin test and positive splenic culture for Leishmania (iii) infected with undefined susceptibility status, with a positive leishmanin skin test and positive splenic culture for Leishmania, and (iv) noninfected, with a negative leishmanin skin test, negative splenic culture for Leishmania, and negative serology for anti-Leishmania antibodies. Histopathological analyses showed that there was a higher frequency of perisplenitis (18/25, P < 0.0001), granuloma (7/25, P = 0.0102), structural disorganization (14/25, P < 0.0001), and atrophy of the lymphoid follicles (20/25, P = 0.0036) and of the marginal zone (15/25, P = 0.0025) in the potentially susceptible group than in the other groups. The data presented here show changes in the white pulp of the spleen that are associated with naturally acquired visceral leishmaniasis.