Detection of amastigote forms in a parasitological exam of smears made from conjuntival swab in dogs with visceral leishmaniasis

Leishmaniasisis is a multisystemic disease with varying clinical presentations. In dogs, alterations in the eyes are commonly observed even in animals with no systemic signs. The diagnosis of leishmaniasis is currently based on parasitological, serological and molecular methods, although the identification of amastigote forms of this parasite in conjunctival swabs is not a routine technique in clinical practice. Serologically positive dogs for leishmaniasis presenting (G1) or not (G2) ocular alterations were enrolled in this study to evaluate the conjunctival swab as a method for the diagnosis of this disease. The parasitological evaluation of the swabs disclosed 60% positivity for dogs in group 1, whereas only 38.1% of dogs in group 2 were positive. However, no significant difference was documented between the two groups (P=0.2167). Our data suggest a tendency for dogs with ocular signs to be tested positive in the conjunctival swab exam, thus, this method is useful in the diagnosis of canine leishmaniasis.

dog; Leishmania; lymph node; conjuntive

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