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Feline Leishmaniasis: epidemiological survey in the Mogi-Guaçu River Valley, state of São Paulo

Grant number: 21/04986-4
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine - Preventive Veterinary Medicine
Principal researcher:Trícia Maria Ferreira de Sousa Oliveira
Grantee:Pedro Armando Meneghesso
Home Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


The protozoa of the genus Leishmania are mandatory intracellular parasites responsible for leishmaniasis, zoonoses of great relevance to Public Health in several countries, including Brazil. The parasite has a heteroxene cycle and has the sandfly as an vector (Order: Diptera, Family: Psychodidae, Sub-Family: Phlebotominae). The clinical forms of this zoonosis are visceral, cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. The most serious is visceral leishmaniasis, caused by the etiologic agent Leishmania infantum, with the dog (Canis lupus familiaris) being the main reservoir in the urban environment. The cat (Felis catus), until then, was considered only an accidental host of L. infantum, however there is a need for more research to clarify its role, as well as that of Feline Leishmaniasis, given the increase in reports of infected cats. For this, a partnership will be signed with the Projeto Patinhas in the city of Pirassununga, state of São Paulo, aiming at the use of 30 cats. The animals will be submitted to clinical evaluation, FIV and FeLV tests and the animals will be cataloged. In these, samples of whole blood, oral and conjunctival swab, lymph node and bone marrow aspirates will be collected. Blood and swab samples will be subjected to DNA extraction for further molecular analysis using PCR with primers 13A / 13B. For positive samples, PCR for the ITS-1 region and genetic sequencing will be performed. Serum samples will be submitted to RIFI, using a 1:40 cutoff point. With bone marrow and lymph node punctures, cytological analysis will be performed. (AU)

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