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Occurrence of Leishmania infantum and associated histological alterations in the genital tract and mammary glands of naturally infected dogs



Occurrence of Leishmania infantum and associated histological alterations in the genital tract and mammary glands of naturally infected dogs



Parasitology Research 115(6): 2371-2379



The objectives of this study were to evaluate the occurrence of Leishmania infantum in the male and female genital tract and female mammary glands of dogs and the parasite burden and to identify histological alterations associated with this protozoan. Twenty male and 20 female Leishmania-seropositive dogs with isolation of L. infantum were examined. Tissue samples of the prepuce, glans, epididymis, testes, prostate, vulva, vagina, uterus, uterine tubes, and mammary glands were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and histopathology. For parasitological culture and in situ hybridization, samples were collected from the testis, epididymis, and uterus. Additionally, seminal fluid was aspirated from the epididymis for parasitological culture. In the genital tract, 34 (85 %) dogs, including 18 males and 16 females, were positive for Leishmania. Of these, 27 (79 %) animals were symptomatic. Leishmania was detected in the mammary glands of 13 (65 %) females. L. infantum was isolated for the first time from the seminal fluid and uterus of naturally infected dogs. The parasite burden and intensity of the inflammatory reaction were greater in the prepuce and glans of males and in the vulva and mammary glands of females. In addition to inflammation, testicular degeneration, atrophy, absence of spermatogenesis, and necrosis were observed. Detection of amastigote forms in the mammary gland lumen indicates possible elimination of this parasite in milk. The frequent parasitism observed in the genital tract of infected males and females and the viability of L. infantum in seminal fluid and uterus suggest the possibility of bidirectional venereal and vertical transmission.

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Accession: 058448638

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26979730

DOI: 10.1007/s00436-016-4987-4


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