Global Distribution of Canine Visceral Leishmaniasis and the Role of the Dog in the Epidemiology of the Disease

Diego Fernandes Vilas-Boas, Eiji Kevin Nakasone Nakasone, Ana Alice Maia Gonçalves, Daniel Ferreira Lair, Diana Souza de Oliveira, Diogo Fonseca Soares Pereira, Geralda Gabriele Silva, Ingrid dos Santos Soares Conrado, Lucilene Aparecida Resende, Maykelin Fuentes Zaldívar, Reysla Maria da Silveira Mariano, Walderez Ornelas Dutra, Miguel Angel Chávez-Fumagalli, Alexsandro Sobreira Galdino, Denise Silveira-Lemos, Rodolfo Cordeiro Giunchetti

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Visceral leishmaniasis is a disease caused by protozoa of the species Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum (syn = Leishmania chagasi) and Leishmania (Leishmania) donovani, which are transmitted by hematophagous insects of the genera Lutzomyia and Phlebotomus. The domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is considered the main urban reservoir of the parasite due to the high parasite load on its skin, serving as a source of infection for sandfly vectors and, consequently, perpetuating the disease in the urban environment. Some factors are considered important in the perpetuation and spread of canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) in urban areas, such as stray dogs, with their errant behavior, and houses that have backyards with trees, shade, and organic materials, creating an attractive environment for sandfly vectors. CVL is found in approximately 50 countries, with the number of infected dogs reaching millions. However, due to the difficulty of controlling and diagnosing the disease, the number of infected animals could be even greater. In the four continents endemic for CVL, there are reports of disease expansion in endemic countries such as Brazil, Italy, Morocco, and Tunisia, as well as in areas where CVL is not endemic, for example, Uruguay. Socio-environmental factors, such as migration, drought, deforestation, and global warming, have been pointed out as reasons for the expansion into areas where it had been absent. Thus, the objective of this review is to address (i) the distribution of CVL in endemic areas, (ii) the role of the dog in the visceral leishmaniasis epidemiology and the factors that influence dog infection and the spread of the disease, and (iii) the challenges faced in the control of CVL.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo455
EstadoPublicada - jun. 2024


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