Detection of Leishmania infantum in captive wolves from Southwestern Europe

Vet Parasitol. 2008 Nov 25;158(1-2):117-20. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.08.008. Epub 2008 Aug 22.


The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of Leishmania infantum infection in a wild reservoir host (Canis lupus) throughout an endemic area for the disease (Southern Europe). For that reason, the serum and peripheral blood samples of 33 captive wolves from the European Breeding of Endangered Species Programme (EEP) were analyzed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). L. infantum was detected in three samples from Central Portugal and Central and Northern Spain. Even though L. infantum infection in positive samples was low, surveillance of zoonotic leishmaniosis in this population is recommended as the parasite load could be higher in other tissues due to parasite tropism and most of the EEP institutions studied are located in endemic areas for canine leishmaniosis in Europe.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Wild / parasitology
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / methods
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Female
  • Leishmania infantum / immunology
  • Leishmania infantum / isolation & purification*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / veterinary
  • Portugal / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sentinel Surveillance / veterinary
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Wolves / blood
  • Wolves / parasitology*