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A survey of visceral leishmaniasis in dogs from Santa Maria and neighbouring municipalities, State of Rio Grande do Sul

Five dogs from the municipalities of Santa Maria, Itaara and Júlio de Castilhos, in the centre of the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul, were diagnosed as positive for visceral leishmaniasis. A survey was developed by indirect immunofluorescence in blood obtained in filter paper from 40 dogs from Santa Maria, 20 from Itaara and 11 from Júlio de Castilhos. Examined dogs were generally related to those reputedly positive. Besides the above dogs, blood from 44 stray dogs from Júlio de Castilhos, 68 from Cachoeira do Sul and 20 from Caçapava do Sul was also examined. Slightly positive sera (£1:40) were examined with ELISA. PCR and histology was used to examine the liver, spleen, lungs and lymph nodes from a sixth dog considered at necropsy to be positive for visceral leishmaniasis. All results for the 204 dogs were negative. This indicates that visceral leishmaniasis, due to various factors discussed below, is extremely rare in this region. A more detailed exam of the material from the five dogs considered positive is necessary.

Visceral leishmaniasis; Rio Grande do Sul; Dog; Reservoir; Epidemiology

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