|Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar is a zoonotic disease caused by Leishmaniainfantum, in the Mediterranean area, and by Leishmania chagasi in Latin America and China. It is endemic in less developed countries; however, incidences are increasing in non-endemic areas due to changing patterns of international travel and to population migration. VL currently affects 12 million individuals and it is an opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. Dogs are the main reservoir of Leishmaniainfantum parasites, and they play a central role in the transmission to humans through phlebotomine sandflies. A large amount of evidence has demonstrated that the prevalence and incidence of canine Leishmaniasis (CanL) has, until now, been underestimated. In addition to dogs, wild canids, such as jackals (Canis aureus) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes), are potential feral reservoirs for Leishmania infantum. After infection, some dogs can control the parasite and donât develop the disease in the short term, sometimes remaining subclinical for years or for their entire lifetime, whereas others may present progressive disease. The presence of latent infection in dogs is typical and contributes to maintaining the long-term presence of the parasite in endemic regions. Disease management represents a serious problem since both symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs are infective to phlebotomine vectors, and the available antileishmanial drugs have limited efficacy in dogs.
Development and Clinical Trial of a Novel DNA Vaccine as Immunotherapy during Canine Leishmaniasis: Laura Manna, Ilaria Michela Piras, Valentina CiprÃ¬, Alberto Alberti, Italia Della Peruta, Carlo Maria Del Pizzo, Nicoletta Gammarano, Elisabetta Coradduzza, Carla Cacciotto, Marco Pittau, Angelo Elio Gravino and Bernardo Chessa