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Molecular detection of Leishmania spp. in cats

Grant number: 12/18584-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): February 01, 2013
Effective date (End): July 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Trícia Maria Ferreira de Sousa Oliveira
Grantee:Davi Postilhone da Silva Gomes
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


The leishmaniases are parasitic diseases caused by flagellate protozoa, considered by the World Health Organization as a priority among tropical diseases. The role of dogs as reservoirs of visceral leishmaniasis in urban areas is known and studied for a long time. The cat is currently considered a reservoir host for possessing the ability to infection, however, the role of cats in the epidemiology of leishmaniasis is not yet fully known and has been the subject of recent studies. The clinical signs are nonspecific in this species and serological diagnosis is considered insensitive, and the PCR method of choice for diagnosis of infection in this species. A conjunctival swab PCR proved to be an effective technique in the diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis, with good sensitivity and high specificity, in addition, sample collection is quite straightforward, even in epidemiological surveys in the canine population, compared to puncture blood. The purpose of this study is to evaluate at least 50 cats from the cities of São Paulo-SP and Pirassununga-SP in order to detect the DNA of the protozoa of the genus Leishmania in conjunctival swab samples and compare them to samples of blood, both to be analyzed by PCR test in order to verify the reliability of the technique. According to the results obtained, will be able to verify the presence of infected cats in these regions and make use of mucosal samples for diagnosis of the disease, thus making the procedure less stressful to the animal and the professional, and ensuring them greater security. (AU)

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