Author(s): Courtenay O, Quinnell RJ, Garcez LM, Dye C
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The epidemiological role of the crab-eating fox Cerdocyon thous in the transmission of Leishmania infantum is assessed in a longitudinal study in Amazon Brazil. A total of 37 wild-caught foxes were immunologically and clinically monitored, and 26 foxes exposed to laboratory colonies of the sandfly vector Lutzomyia longipalpis, over a 15-month period. In total 78\% (29/37) of foxes were seropositive for anti-Leishmania IgG on at least 1 occasion, and 38\% (8/37) had infections confirmed by PCR and/or by culture. Point prevalences were 74\% (serology), 15\% (PCR), and 26\% (culture). No signs of progressive disease were observed. None of the foxes were infectious to the 1469 sandflies dissected from 44 feeds. A conservative estimate of the possible contribution of foxes to transmission was 9\% compared to 91\% by sympatric domestic dogs. These results show that crab-eating fox populations do not maintain a transmission cycle independently of domestic dogs. The implication is that they are unlikely to introduce the parasite into Leishmania-free dog populations.
This article was published in Parasitology
and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development