Submitted to: Journal of Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 9, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Leishmania species are protozoan (single celled) parasites of humans, carnivores, rodents and some wild animals in many countries. They are transmitted by blood-sucking arthropods. Scientists at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and the University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe report Leishmania associated with skin lesions in cattle for the first time. These findings will be of interest to veterinarians and parasitologists.
A Leishmania sp.-like organism was found in the skin of a naturally infected 8-mo-old Red Dane female calf (Bos taurus) from Zimbabwe. There were multiple alopecic nodules, particularly on the face and udder. The nodules were up to 5 cm in diameter and larger ones were ulcerated and hemorrhagic. Numerous Leishmania-like amastigotes were seen in the skin lesions. Ultrastructurally, the organisms were oval to elongated (2-2.5 um long), had a nucleus, a kinetoplast, and a flagellum. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Leishmania-like organisms found in an animal from Zimbabwe.