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

Grant number: 13/02082-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2013
Effective date (End): April 30, 2014
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Mary Marcondes
Grantee:Paula Milena Venturin
Home Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária (FMVA). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Araçatuba. Araçatuba , SP, Brazil


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 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.