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The prevalence of canine Leishmania infantum infection in Sichuan Province, southwestern China detected by real time PCR

Author(s): Shang Li-min | Peng Wei-ping | Jin Hong-tao | Xu Ding | Zhong Ni-na | Wang Wen-long | Wu You-xi | Liu Quan

Journal: Parasites & Vectors
ISSN 1756-3305

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 173;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Leishmania | Dogs | Prevalence | Real time PCR | China

Abstract Background Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is endemic in western China, and becoming an important public health concern. Infected dogs are the main reservoir for Leishmania infantum, and a potential sentinel for human VL in endemic areas. In the present study we investigated the prevalence of Leishmania DNA in dogs from Wenchuan, Heishui and Jiuzhaigou County in Sichuan Province, southwestern China, which are important endemic areas of zoonotic VL, detected by real time PCR. The results will help to design control strategies against visceral leishmaniasis in dogs and humans. Results The overall prevalence of Leishmania DNA in dogs was 24.8% (78/314) in Sichuan Province, with the positive rate of 23.5% (23/98) in Wenchuan County, 28.2% (20/71) in Heishui County, and 24.1% (35/145) in Jiuzhaigou County, and no significant difference was observed among the three counties (P > 0.05). The dogs were further allocated to different groups based on sexes, ages and external clinical symptoms. The logistic regression analysis revealed that a higher prevalence was found in older and external symptomatic dogs, compared to that of younger and asymptomatic dogs (P < 0.05). Conclusions The results revealed that L. infantum infection in dogs is widespread in Sichuan Province, southwestern China, which has a public health significance, due to its contribution to the transmission of the infection to humans by sandflies. It is necessary to take measures, including treatment or eradication of infected dogs, to control canine leishmaniasis, which could be helpful to reduce human VL in this area.
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