Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has spread rapidly across cities in the metropolitan region of Belo Horizonte. The aim of this study was to investigate VL dynamics in a prospective cohort study of dogs in Juatuba, between 2010 and 2011, to confirm the incidence of Leishmania infantum, and to assess possible risk factors associated with infection. An observational and prospective closed cohort study was performed using serology testing in dogs, randomly selected from the whole municipality. All seronegative dogs, or dogs with inconclusive results were monitored using indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) at 6-month intervals. The dog's owners completed a semi-structured questionnaire to assess possible causal factors of seroconversion, and the responses were assessed using logistic regression. The canine incidence coefficient was 206/1,000 dogs per year (CI: 178-238), and a cluster was identified in an area with a high concentration of seropositive dogs, but a low overall canine population. Large dogs were identified as a risk factor and the following variables were identified as protection factors: dogs aged over 4 years, daily peridomicile cleaning, and better socioeconomic conditions. VL is spreading over a large area in Juatuba in a short period of time.
leishmaniasis; incidence; seroconversion; risk factors; cluster