Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/14110
Canine Leishmaniasis Prevalence in the Slovenian Dog Population
J Vet Res. 2021;65(2):161-167.
Introduction: Leishmaniasis is a life-threatening zoonosis of which dogs are the major reservoir and sandflies are the vectors. Until now, the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in the Slovenian dog population was unknown. Material and Methods: Epidemiological data, eye swabs and blood samples were taken from 465 dogs born in Slovenia and older than one year. Commercial ELISA kits and real-time PCR were used. For ELISA-positive samples, an immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) was performed. Descriptive statistics were used to characterise the samples. The one-sample nonparametric chi-square test was used to test whether the categories of a variable were equally distributed. Results: A 59.9% proportion of the recruited dogs had travelled to endemic regions and 62.1% of them had not been protected by insect repellents. Skin symptoms that might be CanL-related were described in 109 of the dogs' histories (23.4%), inappetence and/or weight loss in 25 (5.4%), and anaemia, intermittent fever, and/or lymphadenopathy in 19 (4.1%). At the time of recruitment, all dogs were asymptomatic. All samples were PCR negative, nine (1.9%) were ELISA positive, but none were IFAT positive. Five of the nine ELISA-positive dogs were non-travellers. Conclusion: We conclude that the seroprevalence of canine leishmaniasis of 1.9 % in the autochthonous Slovenian dog population may pose a risk of endemic spread of the disease.
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