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Acta Parasitologica

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Volume 61, Issue 4 (Dec 2016)

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Epidemiological survey on Leishmania infection in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) and hunting dogs sharing the same rural area in Southern Italy

Diego Piantedosi
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
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/ Vincenzo Veneziano
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
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/ Trentina Di Muccio
  • Unit of Vector-borne Diseases and International Health, MIPI, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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/ Valentina Foglia Manzillo
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
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/ Eleonora Fiorentino
  • Unit of Vector-borne Diseases and International Health, MIPI, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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/ Aldo Scalone
  • Unit of Vector-borne Diseases and International Health, MIPI, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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/ Benedetto Neola
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
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/ Francesca Di Prisco
  • Istituto Zooprofilattico del Mezzogiorno, Sezione Diagnostica Provinciale di Avellino, via San Giovanni 234, 83024 Monteforte Irpino, Italy
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/ Nicola D’Alessio
  • Istituto Zooprofilattico del Mezzogiorno, Sezione Diagnostica Provinciale di Avellino, via San Giovanni 234, 83024 Monteforte Irpino, Italy
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/ Luigi Gradoni
  • Unit of Vector-borne Diseases and International Health, MIPI, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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/ Gaetano Oliva
  • Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, via F. Delpino, 1, 80137 Naples, Italy
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/ Marina Gramiccia
  • Unit of Vector-borne Diseases and International Health, MIPI, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy
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Published Online: 2016-10-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0106

Abstract

Southern Italy, particularly Campania region, is an area where canine leishmaniasis (CanL) and zoonotic human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) are endemic. The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been hypothesized to play a role in occurrence of CanL in Italy but specific studies are poor. The aim of the present survey was to investigate the prevalence of Leishmania infection in dogs and foxes living in the same rural area (Picentini hills). 123 sera from autochthonous fox-hunting dogs were examined by immunofluorescent-antibody test (IFAT) using a cut-off of 1:160. The seroprevalence of dogs examined was 17.9%. Moreover, 48 foxes were examined after having been shooted by hunters or road accidents. Spleen, liver and lymph node samples were analyzed by specific Leishmania nested PCR (n-PCR). 10 foxes were found infected by L. infantum (20.8%) of which 4 animals in spleen, 2 in lymph nodes and 4 both in spleen and lymph nodes. The overall n-PCR positivity was 17.4% for spleen samples and 13.3% for lymph nodes; all liver samples resulted negative. In positive PCR foxes no signs clearly referable to leishmaniasis were recorded at necropsy. The results confirmed the presence of L. infantum infection in red foxes from Southern Italy, with a moderate level of exposure. Because large proportions of dogs with ascertained progressive leishmaniasis show a prolonged "subpatent condition" during which they are only positive to n-PCR before seroconversion, our results allow to assume that exposure risk in foxes is lower than hunting dogs living in the studied area.

Keywords: Leishmaniasis; Italy; fox; hunting dog

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About the article

Received: 2016-01-05

Revised: 2016-06-23

Accepted: 2016-06-29

Published Online: 2016-10-24

Published in Print: 2016-12-01


Citation Information: Acta Parasitologica, ISSN (Online) 1896-1851, ISSN (Print) 1230-2821, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ap-2016-0106.

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© 2016 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS. Copyright Clearance Center

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