Clinical-dermatological, histological abnormalities and prevalence of Trypanosoma caninum and Leishmania infantum in dogs from Midwest region of Brazil

Rev Bras Parasitol Vet. 2020 Feb 10;29(1):e016319. doi: 10.1590/S1984-29612019100. eCollection 2020.


Leishmania infantum is a trypanosomatid that causes parasitic dermatopathy in dogs. Trypanosoma caninum is another trypanosomatid, which infects the skin of dogs, although cutaneous abnormalities are absent. This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of T. caninum infection and its associated cutaneous and histological changes and compare it with the occurrence of L. infantum infection in dogs. The study included 150 dogs, of which T. caninum infection was identified in 3 (2%) and L. infantum infection in 15 (10%) of them, with no association (p>0.05) of these infections with the breed, gender, age, or cutaneous abnormalities. The cutaneous abnormalities were based on 1 (4.8%) and 12 (57.1%) dogs infected by T. caninum and L. infantum, respectively. The dermatohistopathological abnormalities in the dogs infected with T. caninum included mild perivascular lymphohistioplasmacytic infiltrates in the clinically asymptomatic ones, while in those with dermatological abnormalities, acanthosis, epidermal orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis, melanomacrophages, and co-infection with Microsporum sp. and Trichophyton sp. were observed. InL. infantum infected, the histopathological findings included chronic granulomatous inflammatory infiltrates and structures compatible with amastigotes. Despite the low frequency of T. caninum infection, our findings suggest that this trypanosomatid, unlike L. infantum, does not cause any macroscopic skin abnormalities.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Coinfection
  • DNA, Protozoan / genetics
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Leishmania infantum / genetics*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / pathology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Trypanosoma / genetics*
  • Trypanosomiasis / epidemiology
  • Trypanosomiasis / pathology
  • Trypanosomiasis / veterinary*


  • DNA, Protozoan