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      Expanding the knowledge about Leishmania species in wild mammals and dogs in the Brazilian savannah

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          Wild, synanthropic and domestic mammals act as hosts and/or reservoirs of several Leishmania spp. Studies on possible reservoirs of Leishmania in different areas are fundamental to understand host-parasite interactions and develop strategies for the surveillance and control of leishmaniasis. In the present study, we evaluated the Leishmania spp. occurrence in mammals in two conservation units and their surroundings in Brasília, Federal District (FD), Brazil.


          Small mammals were captured in Brasília National Park (BNP) and Contagem Biological Reserve (CBR) and dogs were sampled in residential areas in their vicinity. Skin and blood samples were evaluated by PCR using different molecular markers (D7 24Sα rRNA and rDNA ITS1). Leishmania species were identified by sequencing of PCR products. Dog blood samples were subjected to the rapid immunochromatographic test (DPP) for detection of anti -Leishmania infantum antibodies.


          179 wild mammals were studied and 20.1% had Leishmania DNA successfully detected in at least one sample. Six mammal species were considered infected: Clyomys laticeps, Necromys lasiurus, Nectomys rattus, Rhipidomys macrurus, Didelphis albiventris and Gracilinanus agilis. No significant difference, comparing the proportion of individuals with Leishmania spp., was observed between the sampled areas and wild mammal species. Most of the positive samples were collected from the rodent N. lasiurus, infected by L. amazonensis or L. braziliensis. Moreover, infections by Trypanosoma spp. were detected in N. lasiurus and G. agilis. All 19 dog samples were positive by DPP; however, only three (15.8%) were confirmed by PCR assays. DNA sequences of ITS1 dog amplicons showed 100% identity with L. infantum sequence .


          The results suggest the participation of six species of wild mammals in the enzootic transmission of Leishmania spp. in FD. This is the first report of L. amazonensis in N. lasiurus.

          Electronic supplementary material

          The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13071-015-0780-y) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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          Most cited references 47

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          Identifying Reservoirs of Infection: A Conceptual and Practical Challenge

          Many infectious agents, especially those that cause emerging diseases, infect more than one host species. Managing reservoirs of multihost pathogens often plays a crucial role in effective disease control. However, reservoirs remain variously and loosely defined. We propose that reservoirs can only be understood with reference to defined target populations. Therefore, we define a reservoir as one or more epidemiologically connected populations or environments in which the pathogen can be permanently maintained and from which infection is transmitted to the defined target population. Existence of a reservoir is confirmed when infection within the target population cannot be sustained after all transmission between target and nontarget populations has been eliminated. When disease can be controlled solely by interventions within target populations, little knowledge of potentially complex reservoir infection dynamics is necessary for effective control. We discuss the practical value of different approaches that may be used to identify reservoirs in the field.
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            The role of dogs as reservoirs of Leishmania parasites, with emphasis on Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum and Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis.

            Leishmania parasites cause a group of diseases collectively known as leishmaniases. The primary hosts of Leishmania are sylvatic mammals of several orders (Rodentia, Marsupialia, Carnivora, etc.). Under certain circumstances, particularly in peridomestic and domestic transmission foci, synanthropic and domestic animals can act as source of infection for phlebotomine sand fly vectors. Dogs have long been implicated as the main domestic reservoirs of Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum, the aetiological agent of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis, and there exists an increasing trend to regard dogs as the main domestic reservoirs of Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, the most widespread aetiological agent of American tegumentary leishmaniasis. However, insights derived from recent research indicate that not dogs but humans are probably the most important domestic reservoirs of L. (V.) braziliensis. In the present article, the role of dogs as reservoirs of Leishmania parasites, with emphasis on L. (L.) infantum and L. (V.) braziliensis, is reviewed.
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              The trypanosomes of mammals. A zoological monograph


                Author and article information

                Parasit Vectors
                Parasit Vectors
                Parasites & Vectors
                BioMed Central (London )
                21 March 2015
                21 March 2015
                : 8
                [ ]Núcleo de Medicina Tropical, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Brasília, 70904970 Distrito Federal, Brasília, Brazil
                [ ]Laboratório Multidisciplinar de Pesquisa em Doença de Chagas, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Brasília, 70904970 Distrito Federal, Brasília, Brazil
                [ ]Laboratório de Parasitologia Médica e Biologia de Vetores, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Brasília, 70904970 Distrito Federal, Brasília, Brazil
                [ ]Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade, 70670350 Distrito Federal, Brasília, Brazil
                © Cardoso 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.

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                leishmania eco-epidemiology, reservoirs, molecular diagnostics, pcr


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