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      Mixed infection of Leishmania infantum and Leishmania braziliensis in rodents from endemic urban area of the New World

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          In Brazil Leishmania braziliensis and L. infantum are the principal species responsible for cutaneous and visceral leishmaniases, respectively. Domestic dogs are the main reservoirs of visceral leishmaniasis, while rodents and marsupials are the main reservoirs for cutaneous leishmaniasis. It has also been suggested that dogs could play a role in transmission of cutaneous leishmaniasis. The identification of the species of Leishmania, the reservoirs, and the vectors involved in each particular transmission cycle is critical for the establishment of control activities. Belo Horizonte has emerged as an endemic region for leishmaniases, however, epidemiological studies assessing the contribution of wild reservoirs to transmission are scarce in the area. The aim of this study was to investigate Leishmania spp. infection in possible reservoirs of an urbanized area.


          A high rate of infection was found in small mammals (64.9%) and dogs (DG1 30.4% and DG2 48.6%). The presence of L. infantum and L. braziliensis was detected in small mammals and dogs, and mixed infections by both species were detected in rodents which, to the best of our knowledge, is the first description of this phenomenon in an urban area. Additionally, L. amazonensis was detected in the canine samples.


          The possible role of these animals as a source of infection of the vector of each species of Leishmania identified should not be overlooked and should be taken into account in future control activities. The results of mixed infection by L. braziliensis and L. infantum in cosmopolitan rodents as M. musculus and R. rattus, may have important implications in the context of the control of leishmaniasis in urban areas, especially when considering that these rodents live in close relationship with human dwellings, especially those in more precarious conditions.

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          Most cited references 48

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          The leishmaniases as emerging and reemerging zoonoses.

           R.W. Ashford (2000)
          The 20 or so species of Leishmania which have been recorded as human infections are all either zoonotic, or have recent zoonotic origins. Their distribution is determined by that of their vector, their reservoir host, or both, so is dependent on precise environmental features. This concatenation of limiting factors leads to specific environmental requirements and focal distribution of zoonotic or anthroponotic sources. Human infection is dependent on the ecological relationship between human activity and reservoir systems. Examples are available of the emergence of leishmaniasis from the distant past to the present, and can be postulated for the future. These emergences have been provoked by the adoption of new, secondary reservoir hosts, the adoption of new vector species, transport of infection in humans or domestic animals, invasion by humans of zoonotic foci, and irruption of reservoir hosts beyond their normal range. The leishmaniases therefore present an excellent model for emerging disease in general, and for the generation of the principles governing emergence. The model is, however, limited by gaps in our knowledge, usually quantitative, sometimes qualitative, of the structure of reservoir systems.
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            Phylogeny of Leishmania species based on the heat-shock protein 70 gene.

            The 70kDa heat-shock protein (HSP70) is conserved across prokaryotes and eukaryotes, and the protein as well as its encoding gene have been applied in phylogenetic studies of different parasites. In spite of the frequent use of New World Leishmania species identification on the basis of restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) in the hsp70 gene, it was never sequenced extensively for studying evolutionary relationships. To fill this void we determined the nucleotide sequence of an 1380bp fragment of the coding region commonly used in RFLP analysis, from 43 isolates and strains of different geographic origins. Combination with previously determined sequences amounted to a phylogenetic analysis including 52 hsp70 sequences representing 17 species commonly causing leishmaniasis both in the New and Old World. The genus Leishmania formed a monophyletic group with three distinct subgenera L. (Leishmania), L. (Viannia), and L. (Sauroleishmania). The obtained phylogeny supports the following eight species: L. (L.) donovani, L. (L.) major, L. (L.) tropica, L. (L.) mexicana, L. (V.) lainsoni, L. (V.) naiffi, L. (V.) guyanensis and L. (V.) braziliensis, in some of which subspecies can be recognized: L. (L.) donovani infantum, L. (V.) guyanensis panamensis, and L. (V.) braziliensis peruviana. The currently recognized L. (L.) aethiopica, L. (L.) garnhami, and L. (L.) amazonensis did not form monophyletic clusters. These findings are discussed in relation to results from other genes and proteins, which have to be integrated in order to build a genetically supported taxonomy for the entire genus.
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              Study on phlebotomine sand fly (Diptera: Psychodidae) fauna in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil

              A study on the phlebotomine sand fly fauna in Belo Horizonte city, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, was carried out. From April 2001 to March 2003, monthly systematic collections were performed in three houses from each of the nine regions of the city, using CDC light traps for four consecutive days. The traps were set into the houses and in peridomestic areas totaling 54 traps. A number of 3871 sand fly specimens of the genera Lutzomyia and Brumptomyia were collected. Sixty eight percent of the specimens were L. longipalpis and 16% L. whitmani, insect vectors of visceral and American cutaneous leishmaniasis, respectively. Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, and frequency of precipitation suggest that the number of insects increases after rainy periods. During the same period mentioned above, seasonal captures were carried out in parks and green areas of Belo Horizonte, using Shannon trap. A total of 579 phlebotomine sand flies were collected from which 398 (68.7%) were females with the predominance of L. whitmani and L. monticola. Those specimens were used for natural infection examination, by polymerase chain reaction. No Leishmania DNA was present in any of the specimens tested.

                Author and article information

                BMC Vet Res
                BMC Vet. Res
                BMC Veterinary Research
                BioMed Central (London )
                20 March 2015
                20 March 2015
                : 11
                [ ]Fiocruz Mato Grosso do Sul, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Campo Grande, MS Brasil
                [ ]WHO Collaborating Center for Leishmaniasis, Servicio de Parasitología, Centro Nacional de Microbiología, Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madri, Espanha
                [ ]Serviço de Biologia Molecular e Bioinformática, Diretoria de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento, Fundação Ezequiel Dias, Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
                [ ]Sete Soluções e Tecnologias Ambientais, Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
                [ ]Regional Nordeste, Secretaria de Saúde de Belo Horizonte, Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
                [ ]Departamento de Biologia Geral, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
                [ ]Grupo de Estudos em Leishmanioses, Centro de Pesquisas René Rachou, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Belo Horizonte, MG Brasil
                © Ferreira et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Research Article
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                © The Author(s) 2015

                Veterinary medicine

                leishmania, hosts, reservoir, small mammals, dogs, mixed-infections


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