Canine susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis: A systematic review upon genetic aspects, considering breed factors and immunological concepts

Infect Genet Evol. 2019 Oct:74:103293. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2017.10.005. Epub 2017 Oct 5.


Dogs have different susceptibility degrees to leishmaniasis; however, genetic research on this theme is scarce, manly on visceral form. The aims of this systematic review were to describe and discuss the existing scientific findings on genetic susceptibility to canine leishmaniasis, as well as to show the gaps of the existing knowledge. Twelve articles were selected, including breed immunological studies, genome wide associations or other gene polymorphism or gene sequencing studies, and transcription approaches. As main results of literature, there was a suggestion of genetic clinical resistance background for Ibizan Hound dogs, and alleles associated with protection or susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis in Boxer dogs. Genetic markers can explain phenotypic variance in both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and in cellular immune responses, including antigen presentation. Many gene segments are involved in canine visceral leishmaniasis phenotype, with Natural Resistance Associated Macrophage Protein 1 (NRAMP1) as the most studied. This was related to both protection and susceptibility. In comparison with murine and human genetic approaches, lack of knowledge in dogs is notorious, with many possibilities for new studies, revealing a wide field to be assessed on canine leishmaniasis susceptibility research.

Keywords: Dog; Genetic; Resistance; Susceptibility; Visceral leishmaniasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation
  • Breeding
  • Dog Diseases / genetics*
  • Dog Diseases / immunology*
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dogs
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / veterinary
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / genetics
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / immunology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide