Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
versión impresa ISSN 0074-0276
DE LIMA, Hector et al. Cotton Rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and Black Rats (Rattus rattus) as Possible Reservoirs of Leishmania spp. in Lara State, Venezuela. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2002, vol.97, n.2, pp. 169-174. ISSN 0074-0276. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0074-02762002000200004.
A total of 519 wild animals belonging to eleven species were collected during a two year study in a cutaneous leishmaniasis endemic area in Venezuela (La Matica, Lara State). The animals were captured in home-made Tomahawk-like traps baited with maize, bananas or other available local fruits, and parasites were isolated from 27 specimens. Two different species were found naturally infected with flagellates, i.e., cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) and black rats (Rattus rattus). Characterization of the parasites using PCR, kDNA restriction pattern and hybridization with species-specific probes revealed the presence of Leishmania (L.) mexicana in three of the black rats and Leishmania (V.) braziliensis in two others. The latter species was also identified in the single positive specimen of S. hispidus. The results suggested both species of animals as possible reservoirs of Leishmania sp.
Palabras llave : Leishmania; reservoirs; leishmaniasis; polymerase chain reaction; Venezuela.