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Molecular and serological detection of Leishmania spp. in captive wild animals from Ilha Solteira, SP, Brazil

DOI: 10.1590/S1984-29612011000300008

Keywords: leishmania spp, wild animals, serology, pcr, brazil.

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Abstract:

leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease that affects 12 million people worldwide. several mammalian species can serve as a reservoir for this disease. dogs are the main reservoir for visceral leishmaniasis in urban areas, which has become a serious public health concern in brazil. the aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of leishmania spp. in captive wild animals from ilha solteira, s?o paulo, brazil. blood and various tissues samples were collected from animals of five different species: speothos venaticus, chrysocyon brachyurus, cerdocyon thous, pseudalopex vetulus, and procyon cancrivorus. antibodies against leishmania spp. were detected in three wild canids by indirect fluorescent antibody test (ifat) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (elisa). pcr analyses of blood and bone marrow from all animals were negative, but leishmania dna was found in the tissues and skin of seropositive animals. positive pcr samples were also positive for leishmania donovani complex. analysis of sequenced pcr products showed similarities with different regions of leishmania (leishmania) infantum and leishmania (leishmania) chagasi kinetoplastids. measures to control visceral leishmaniasis in wild animals kept in brazilian zoos should be established, as no disease control programs are currently available.

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