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Prevalence of canine leishmaniasis in Beichuan County, Sichuan, China and phylogenetic evidence for an undescribed Leishmania sp. in China based on 7SL RNA

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Author(s): Sun Ke | Guan Wang | Zhang Jian-Guo | Wang Ya-Jing | Tian Yu | Liao Lin | Yang Bin-Bin | Chen Da-Li | Chen Jian-Ping

Journal: Parasites & Vectors
ISSN 1756-3305

Volume: 5;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 75;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Prevalence | Canine leishmaniasis | Phylogeny | rK39 dip-stick | Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) | 7SL RNA

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease, which is still endemic in the west and northwest area of China. Canines are the major reservoirs of Leishmania, the etiological agent of human visceral leishmaniasis. Phlebotomus chinensis is the main transmission vector of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL). Methods In this study, rK39 dip-stick, ELISA and PCR methods were used to investigate the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Beichuan County, Sichuan Province, China. Results Among the 86 dogs which were included in the study, 13 dogs were positive using the dip-stick test (15.12%), while 8 dogs were positive using ELISA (9.30%) and 19 dogs were positive for PCR (22.03%). In total, 32 dogs were positive for one or more tests (37.21%). Interestingly, phylogenetic analysis based on the partial 7SL RNA fragment provided evidence that an undescribed Leishmania species, which is clearly a causative agent of CanL and human visceral leishmaniasis, does exist in China. This result is consistent with our previous study. Conclusions Our work confirmed that canine leishmaniasis is still prevalent in Beichuan County. Further control is urgently needed, as canine leishmaniasis is of great public health importance. The phylogenetic analysis based on 7SL RNA segment provides evidence for the existence of an undescribed Leishmania sp. in China.
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