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Title: Kennel dogs as sentinels of Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in Majorca Island, Spain

item CABEZON, O - University Of Barcelona
item MILLAN, J - University Of Barcelona
item GOMIS, M - Collaborator
item Dubey, Jitender
item FERROGLIO, E - University Of Turin
item ALMERIA, S - Autonomous University Of Barcelona

Submitted to: Parasitology Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2010
Publication Date: 12/1/2010
Citation: Cabezon, O., Millan, J., Gomis, M., Dubey, J.P., Ferroglio, E., Almeria, S. 2010. Kennel dogs as sentinels of Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in Majorca Island, Spain. Parasitology Research. 107:1505-1508.

Interpretive Summary: : Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite of all warm-blooded hosts worldwide. It causes mental retardation and loss of vision in children, and abortion in livestock. Cats are the main reservoir of T. gondii because they are the only hosts that can excrete the resistant stage (oocyst) of the parasite in the feces. Humans become infected by eating undercooked meat from infected animals and food and water contaminated with oocysts. In the present study, scientists document prevalence of antibodies T. gondii and N. caninum in dogs in Spain. The results will be of interest to biologists, parasitologists, and veterinarians.

Technical Abstract: Kennel dogs can serve as sentinels and/or reservoirs of diseases of veterinary and zoonotic interest because they have often roamed free and lived outdoors, being exposed to pathogens. We tested for evidence of infection with three protozoans, Leishmania infantum, Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum in dogs from the kennel of Inca (Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain). Exposure to L. infantum was found in 56.3% of 48 dogs (37.5% by Western Blott, 43.8% by PCR). Only 30% of infected dogs had leishmaniosis-like lesions. Seroprevalence to T. gondii was 58.7% of 46 dogs using the modified agglutination test (MAT, titer 1:25). None of 44 dogs tested had N. caninum antibodies using a commercial competitive ELISA, probably because the surveyed dogs did not roam in the proximity of cattle farms. Results confirm the endemicity of L. infantum in the Mediterranean island of Majorca and also the widespread presence of T. gondii