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Serological evidence of Infection by Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum (Synonym: Leishmania (Leishmania) chagasi) in free-ranging wild mammals in a nonendemic region of the state of São Paulo, Brazil
  • Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP)
  • Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)
  • Environmental Health Surveillance
  • Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP)
  • Centro de Medicina e Pesquisa em Animais Selvagens (Cempas)
Sponsorship Process Number: 
  • FAPESP: 2012/05285-0
  • FAPESP: 2012/02927-1
Concerns about the interface between wildlife, domestic animals, and humans in the transmission of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) have been growing due to natural or anthropogenic environmental changes. In this context, investigations of the infection in wild mammals are important to assess their exposure to the vector and the parasite. A study of anti-Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum antibodies was carried out using the direct agglutination test (DAT) on 528 free-ranging wild mammals of 38 species from the region of Botucatu, state of São Paulo, Brazil, a municipality that has no records of the vector or of human or canine autochthony. Antibodies were detected, with a cutoff of 1:320, in 9/528 (1.7%; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6-2.8%) mammals of the species Callithrix jacchus, Lepus europaeus, Sphiggurus villosus, Nasua nasua, Eira barbara, and Galictis cuja, with high titers (≥1280) for the last three. These three are little-studied species, and previous records of the detection of anti-Leishmania spp. antibodies in Brazil exist only for coatis (N. nasua), whereas worldwide, infection by L. (L.) infantum has been confirmed only in hares (Le. europaeus). On the other hand, opossums and canids, the species most commonly reported to be naturally infected by L. (L.) infantum, were not seropositive. Fifty-eight (58/528; 10.9%) mammals were found to have antibody titers ranging from 20 to 160 and were not included among the seropositive animals due to the adopted cutoff. However, the possibility of infection in these animals should not be discarded, because there is no standard cutoff point for the different wild species. Our findings indicate the need for investigations into the exact role of the seropositive species in the epidemiology of VL and for effective epidemiological surveillance to prevent its expansion, because even in regions where there are no records of canine or human autochthonous cases, there may be parasite circulation among wild mammals.
Issue Date: 
Vector Borne And Zoonotic Diseases (larchmont, N.y.), v. 15, n. 11, p. 667-673, 2015.
Time Duration: 
Mary Ann Liebert
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Serology–direct agglutination test
  • Wild animals
Access Rights: 
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Appears in Collections:Artigos, TCCs, Teses e Dissertações da Unesp

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