First survey on canine leishmaniasis in a non classical area of the disease in Spain (Lleida, Catalonia) based on a veterinary questionnaire and a cross-sectional study

C. Ballart, M.M. Alcover, A. Picado, J. Nieto, S. Castillejo, M. Portus, M. Gallego

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article

Abstract

The Spanish distribution of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is heterogeneous and very few data are available for the north of the country, including the province of Lleida (Catalonia, Spain). This work describes the results obtained from a questionnaire sent to veterinarians throughout the province of Lleida. The majority of veterinarians (25/32, 78.1%) believed CanL cases were increasing and that the dogs had been infected locally (30/32, 93.8%). Also, a cross-sectional study was performed on the seroprevalence of CanL in kennel dogs, with and without compatible clinical signs, in the county of Pallars Sobira (Pyrenees of Lleida), where an autochthonous case of CanL had been previously detected. Four serological tests were used (IFAT, ELISA, Western blot, ICF) and dogs that tested positive with at least two immunological methods were considered seropositive and probably infected. 33.1% (48/145) of the dogs were seropositive. The results of a mixed logistic regression model showed that the risk of seropositivity increased with age (OR=1.35, p-value=0.002), among dogs living in the southern part of Pallars Sobira (OR=6.20, p-value=0.025) and among dogs whose owners considered their animals to be at risk of leishmaniasis infection (OR=1.26, p-value=0.024) and who were unaware of anti-sand fly preventive methods (OR=11.6, p-value=0.009). The risk decreased when dogs lived in an urban-periurban habitat (OR=0.17, p-value=0.002). The information gathered in the veterinary questionnaires helped us to define the knowledge, perception and awareness of the disease in a naive region, supporting the hypothesis of an existing CanL focus in Pallars Sobira, which was confirmed by the seroepidemiological survey. The seroprevalence study carried out on kennel dogs of local origin proved useful for detecting an autochthonous focus of leishmaniasis through the analysis of a small number of animals.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
Volume109
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)116-127
Number of pages12
ISSN0167-5877
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Protozoal diseases
  • Animal diseases
  • Zoonoses
  • Canine
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Leishmania
  • Vectors
  • Sandflies
  • Phlebotomus argentipes
  • Dogs
  • Epidemiology
  • Seroprevalence
  • Geographical distribution
  • Veterinary
  • Clinical manifestations
  • Detection
  • Serology
  • Risk factors
  • KAP
  • Knowledge
  • Attitudes
  • Practices
  • Spain
  • Europe-South

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