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Epidemiologic and diagnostic survey for Chagas Disease and visceral leishmaniasis in domestic cats (Felis catus domesticus) from Ilha Solteira, SP

Grant number: 11/22381-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2012
Effective date (End): August 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Simone Baldini Lucheis
Grantee:Lívia Maísa Guiraldi
Host Institution: Departamento de Descentralização do Desenvolvimento (APTA Regional). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The leishmaniasis are chronic zoonosis that affect humans and other species of wild and domestic mammals, and may present diverse clinical manifestations. It is a disease caused by intracellular protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania. The species responsible for visceral form or Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil is Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi). Lutzomyia longipalpis is the main vector responsible for transmission. Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi) is the aetiological agent for Chagas disease, a neglected zoonosis and of a great importance in public health. Both domestic and wild canids are the most important reservoirs, but other species of animals can be infected, including rodents and wild cats. These reservoirs may present no clinical signs, despite being infected with the etiologic agents, constituting an important source of infection for domestic animals, men or vice versa. The dog is considered the main domestic reservoir of Leishmania, so all the attention in relation to the reservoir of VL are focused on this species; but the cat, living closely with humans, also develop the infection, usually asymptomatic and may act as a reservoir of these protozoa too. Given the specificity of clinical feline leishmaniasis, the absence of pathognomonic signs and symptoms, the similarity of the clinical aspects of this disease with other very common in cats as feline leukemia virus (FIV), feline immunodeficiency syndrome (FeLV), infections caused by bacteria, protozoa and fungi (histoplasmosis, sporotrichosis and cryptococcosis) and therefore the difficulty of establishing a definitive diagnosis of feline leihsmaniasis, this zoonosis should be systematically included in clinical suspicion of cats who have skin lesions compatible and / or inhabit endemic areas for human and canine leishmaniasis. In this study, blood samples will be collected from 50 cats from Associação Protetora Animal de Ilha Solteira (APAISA) , an endemic area for canine and human LVs. With this, we set out to determine the importance of cats in the epidemiological cycle of leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. Also, due to the control measures taken in monitoring programs do not be neglected, it will be associate specific diagnostic investigation by the search for anti-Leishmania using the Indirect Immunofluorescence Test (IFI), ELISA by competition (C-ELISA), blood culture and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for Leishmania infantum (syn. Leishmania chagasi)and Trypanosoma cruzi. Thus, it is expected to evaluate the feline species as potential reservoir for Leishmania chagasi and Trypanosoma cruzi, and thus determine the possibility of this species as an important source of infection and maintenance of human and canine VLs and Chagas disease. (AU)

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