Molecular and Seroepidemiological Survey of Visceral Leishmaniasis among Humans and Domestic Dogs in Mazandaran Province, North of Iran
AbstractBackground: New cases of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) have been reported recently in some parts of Mazandaran Province, north of Iran where the first human case of VL was reported in 1949. This study aimed to determine the present status of Leishmania infantum infection among humans and domestic dogs using serological and molecular methods in central parts of Mazandaran Province.Methods: In this cross-sectional study, blood samples were randomly collected from 402 humans and forty-nine domestic dogs throughout 2009 and 2010 in the central part of Mazandaran Province including Semeskadeh and Kiakola districts where recent cases of human visceral leishmaniasis had been reported there. All the collected samples were tested by direct agglutination test (DAT) for the detection of anti-Leishmania infantum antibodies as well as convenience PCR assay on whole blood samples for detection of leishmanial infection and identification of Leishmania species.Results: None of 402 collected human (402) and dog (49) blood samples showed anti Leishmania infantum antibodies at titers 1:3200 and 1:320 as cut-off values of DAT, respectively but only 2 of domestic dogs (4.1 %) were found PCR-positive corresponding to L .infantum.Conclusion: This study confirms the circulation of L. infantum at least among domestic dogs and highlights the sporadic pattern of VL in the studied areas. Further investigations regarding to sand flies fauna and wild canines as reservoir hosts of the disease, are recommended.
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