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Evaluation of humoral and cellular immune response in cats naturally affected by visceral leishmaniasis

Abstract

The increasing number of cats infected with Leishmania infantum in endemic areas have demonstrated the necessity of an accurate diagnosis in this animal species. However, unlike dogs, cats that develop symptoms of visceral leishmaniasis do not always have a detectable humoral immune response, which could be identified by ELISA or IFAT. Also, the agreement between serology and parasitological diagnosis is poor. A possible explanation for this fact would be the development of a predominant cellular immune response in infected cats. In an attempt to better understand the immune response in cats naturally affected by visceral leishmaniasis, this study aims to evaluate the expression of cytokines by real time PCR (IFN-³, TNF-±, TGF-², IL-1, IL -2, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-17A, 17F Il-IL-21 and IL-27) and Montenegro's test in two groups of at least 25 animals; the first consisting of Leishmania infantum chagasi infected cats and the second of clinically healthy cats parasitologically and serologically negative for visceral leishmaniasis. (AU)