Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis in Kerman, Southeast of Iran: A Seroepidemiological, Histopathological and Molecular Study


Background: Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is a systemic disease with a high mortality rate, caused by a diphasic protozoan parasite, Leishmania infantum/chagasi in the world. The objective of the present study was to determine the presence of CVL in the city and suburbs of Kerman, using a range of serological, histopathological and molecular methods.

Methods: Blood samples were taken from 80 clinically symptomatic stray dogs All the collected blood samples were tested by direct agglutination test (DAT) to detect the anti-Leishmania antibodies in dogs, using a cut-off value of ≥1:320. Pathological specimens including spleen, liver and lymph nodes were prepared for paraffin blocks, sectioning,staining and final microscopic examination in the pathology laboratory.PCR amplification of kDNA from 9 samples of DAT positive stray dogs was studied.

Results: The anti-Leishmania antibody was detected in 9 dogs (11.25 %) of the total 80 studied dogs. No significant difference was found between VL infection and gender. In contrast, there was a significant difference between seropositivity and age (P<0.05). Pathological samples showed changes including hyperplasia of infected macrophages and inflammatory cells that occupied sinusoids and splenic cords. Among the samples which was characterized by PCR, only one specimen revealed to be mixed infection between L. infantum and L. tropica.

Conclusion: The results revealed a high prevalence of L. infantum infection in stray dogs in Kerman. This kind of information is needed for implementation of future control programs.

Cortes S, Vas Y, Neves R, Maia C, Cardoso L, Campino L. Risk factors for canine leishmaniasis in an endemic Mediterranean region. Vet Parasitol. 2012; 189: 189–196.

Baneth G, Koutinas AF, Solano-Gallego L, Bourdeau P, Ferrer L. Canine leishmaniosis— new concepts and insights on an expanding zoonosis: part one. Trends Parasitol. 2008; 24(7): 324–330.

Mohebali M, Hajjaran H, Hamzavi Y, Mobedi I, Arshi S, Zarei Z, Akhoundi B, Manouchehri Naeini K, Avizeh R, Fakhar M. Epidemiological aspects of canine visceral leishmaniosis in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Vet Parasitol. 2005; 129: 243–251.

Bern C, Hightower AW, Chowdhury R et al. Risk factors for kala-azar in Bangladesh. Emerg Infect Dis. 2005; 11(5): 655–662.

Collin S, Davidson R, Ritmeijer K, Keus K, Melaku Y, Kipngetich S, Davies C. Conflict and kala-azar: determinants of adverse outcomes of kala-azar among patients in southern Sudan. Clin Infect Dis. 2004; 38(5): 612–619.

Rey LC, Martins CV, Ribeiro HB, Lima AA. American visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar) in hospitalized children from an endemic area. J Pediatr.(Rio J) 2005; 81(1): 73–78.

Mohebali M. Visceral leishmaniasis in Iran: Review of the Epidemiological and Clinical Features.Iran J Parasitol. 2013; 8(3): 348-358.

Alvar J, Ve lez1 I, Bern C, Herrero M, Desjeux P, Cano J, Jannin J, Boer1 M. The WHO Leishmaniasis Control Team. Leishmaniasis Worldwide and Global Estimates of its Incidence. PLOS One. 2012. 7: 35671.

Dye C, Killick-Kendrick R, Vitutia MM, Walton R, Killick-Kendrick M, Harith AE, Guy MW, Can Avate A.C, Hasibeder G. Epidemiology of canine leishmaniasis: prevalence, incidence and basic reproduction number calculated from a cross sectional serological survey on the island of Gozo. Malt Parasitol. 1992; 105(1): 35-41.

Abranches P, Silva Pereira MC, Conceicao Silva FM, Santos Gomes GM, Janz JG. Canine leishmaniasis: Pathological and ecological factors influencing transmission of infection. J Parasitol. 1991; 77(4): 557-561.

Desjeux P. Leishmaniasis: current situation and new Perspectives. Com. Immunol. Microbiol Infec Dis. 2004; 27(5): 305–318.

Desjeux P. The increase of risk factors for leishmaniasis worldwide. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2001; 95(3): 239–243.

Mohebali M, Edrissian GhH, Nadim A et al. Application of direct agglutination test (DAT) for the diagnosis and seroepidemiological studies of visceral leishmaniasis in Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2006; 1(1): 15-25.

Ozbel Y, Oskam L, Ozensoy S, Turgay N, Alkan MZ, Jaffe CL, Ozcel MA. Asurvey on canine leishmaniasis in western Turkey by parasite. Acta Trop. 2000; 74(1): 1–6.

Adel A, Saegerman C, Speybroeck N, Praet N, Victor B, Deken RD, Soukehal A, Berkvens D. Canine leishmaniasis in Algeria: True prevalence and diagnostic test characteristics in groups of dogs of different functional type. Vet Parasitol. 2010; 172: 204–213.

Fisa R, Riera C, Ga´llego M, Manubens J, Portu´s M. Nested PCR for diagnosis of canine leishmaniosis in peripheral blood, lymph node and bone marrow aspirates. Vet Parasitol. 2001; 99(2): 105–111.

Barati M, Sharifi I, Daie Parizi M, Fasihi Harandi M. Bacterial infections in children with visceral leishmaniasis: observations made in Kerman province, southern Iran, between 1997 and 2007. Ann Trop Med Parasit. 2008; 102(7): 635-641.

Schallig HDFH, Schoone GJ, Kroon CCM, Hailu A, Chappuis F, Veeken H. Development and application of simple’ diagnostic tools for visceral leishmaniasis. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2001; 190: 69–71.

Harith A, Salappendel RJ, Reiter I, Knapen F, Korte P, Huigen E, Kolk RHG. Application of a direct agglutination test for detection of specific anti-Leishmania antibodies in the canine reservoir. J Clin Microbiol. 1989; 27(10) 2252–2257.

Edrissian GhH, Hajjaran H, Mohebali M, Soleimanzadeh G, Bokaei S. Application and evaluation of direct agglutination test in serdiagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in man and canine reservoirs in Iran. Iran J Med Sci 1996; 21: 119–124.

Harith AE, Kolk AHJ, Leeuwenburg J, Muigai R, Huigen E, Jelsma T, Kager PA. Improvement of direct agglutination test for field studies of visceral leishmaniasis. J Clin Microbiol. 1988; 26(7): 1321–1325.

Moshfe A, Mohebali M, Edrissian GhH, Hajjaran H, Akhoundi B, Zarei Z. Seroepidemiological study on canine visceral Leishmaniasis in Meshkin-Shahr district, Ardabil province, northwest of Iran during 2006-2007. Iran J Parasitol. 2008; 3(3): 1-10.

Mahboudi F, Abolhassani M, Yaran M, Mobtaker H, Azizi M. Differentiation of Old and New World Leishmania Species at Complex and Species Levels by PCR. Scand J Inf Dis. 2002; 34(10): 756–758.

Edrissian GhH, Nadim A, Alborzi A, Ardehali S. Visceral leishmaniasis. The Iranian Experience. Arch Iran Med. 1998; 1(1): 22-26.

Gavgani AS, Mohite H, Edrissian GH, Mohebali M, Davies CR. Domestic dog ownership in Iran is a risk factor for human infection with Leishmania infantum. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2002; 67(5): 511-515.

World Health organization. 2007. http: //www. who. int/ctd/chagas/disease.htm.

Tesh R. Control of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis: is it time to change strategies. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1995; 52(3): 287–292.

Boelaert M, El Safi S, Jacquet D, Muynck A, Stuyft PV, Ray D. Operational validation of direct agglutination test for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1999; 60(1): 126–134.

Mohebali M, Taran M, Zarei Z. Rapid detection of Leishmania infantum infection in dogs: comparative study using an immuno chromatographic dipstick rK39 test and direct agglutination. Vet Parasitol. 2004; 121: 239–245.

Abranches P, Sampaio-Silva ML, Santos- Gomes GM, Avelino IC, Pires CA, Conceicao- Silva FM, Seixas-Lopes A, Silva-Pereira MCD, Janz JG. Kalaazar in Portugal. VII. Epidemiological survey in Alijo (endemic region of Alto-Douro). Res Rev Parasitol. 1992; 52: 121–124.

Sideris V, Karagouni E, Papadopoulou G, Garifallou A, Dotsika E. Canine visceral leishmaniasis in the great Athens area, Greece. Parasite. 1996; 3(2): 125-130.

Bokai S, Mobedi I., Edrissian GhH, Nadim A. Seroepidemiological study of canine visceral leishmaniasis in Meshkin-Shahr, northwest of Iran. Arch Inst Razi. 1998; 48- 49: 41–46.

Mahmoudvand H, Mohebali M, Sharifi I, Keshavarz H, Hajjaran H, Akhoundi B, Jahanbakhsh S, Zarean M, Javadi A. Epidemiological Aspects of Visceral Leishmaniasis in Baft District, Kerman Province, Southeast of Iran. Iran J Parasitol. 2011; 6(1): 1-11.

Cardoso L, Rodriques M, Santos H, Schoone Gj, Carreta P, Varejao E, Benthem B, Odete- Afonso M, Alves-pires C, Semiaostos SJ, Rodrigues J, Schallig HDF. Sero-epidemiological study of canine Leishmania spp. infection in the municipality of Alijo (Alto Douro Portugal). Vet Parasitol. 2004; 121: 21–32.

Solano-Gallego L, Morell P, Arboix M, Alberola J, Ferrer L. Prevalence of Leishmania infantum Infection in Dogs Living in an Area of Canine Leishmaniasis En-demi city Using PCR on Several Tissues and Serology. J Clin Microbiol. 2001; 39(2): 560-563.

Vercosa BL, Lemos CM, Mendonca I.L, Silva SM, de Carvalho SM, Goto H, Costa FA. Transmission Potential, Skin Inflammatory Response, and Parasitism of Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Dogs with Visceral Leishmaniasis. BMC Vet Research. 2008; 4(45): 1-7.

Sanchez MA, Diaz NL, Zerpa O, Negron E, Convit J, Tapia FJ. Organ-Specific Immunity in Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis: Analysis of Symptomatic and A-symptomatic Dogs Naturally Infected with Leishmania chagasi. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2004; 70((6): 618-624.

Madeira MF, Schubach A, Schubach TM, Pacheco RS, Oliveira, FS, Pereira SA, Figueiredo FB, Baptista C, Marzochi MC. Mixed infection with Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis and Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi in a naturally infected dog from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2006; 100(5): 442-445.

Bakhshi H, Oshaghi MA, Abai MR, Rassi Y, Akhavan A, Sheikh Z, Mohtarami F, Saidi Z, Mirzajani H, Anjomruz H. Molecular detection of Leishmania infection in sand flies in border line of Iran–Turkmenistan: Restricted and permissive vectors. Exp Parasitol. 2013; 135(2):382–387.

IssueVol 9 No 3 (2014) QRcode
Canine visceral leishmaniasis Histopathology Iran Molecular identification Seroepidemiology

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
Bamorovat M, Sharifi I, Mohammadi MA, Fasihi Harandi M, Mohebali M, Malekpour Afshar R, Babaei Z, Ziaali N, Aflatoonian MR. Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis in Kerman, Southeast of Iran: A Seroepidemiological, Histopathological and Molecular Study. Iran J Parasitol. 1;9(3):342-349.