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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060

Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.36 no.1 Rio de Janeiro  1941 

Alterações cutâneas do cão no Kala-Azar sul-americano

C. Magarinos Torres


According to E. Chagas (1938), South-American Kala Azar is a widespread disease from the jungle, several cases being reported from North Brazil (Estado do Pará: Marajó Island, Tocantins and Gurupi river valleys; Estados do Piauí and Ceará: coast and hinterland). Other cases were found in Northeast Brazil (Estados de Pernambuco, Alagôas and Sergipe: coast and hinterland; Estado da Bahia: hinterland). A few cases were described from Estado de Mato-Grosso (Brazil), Provincia de Salta and Território do Chaco (Argentine), and Zona contestada do Chaco (Paraguai-Bolívia). A well defined secondary anemia associated with enlargement of the liver and spleen are the chief symptoms. Death usually occurs in cachexia and with symptoms of heart failure. Half the patients were children aged less than ten years (CHAGAS, CASTRO & FERREIRA, 1937). Quite exhaustive epidemiological researches performed by CHAGAS, FERREIRA, DEANE, DEANE & GUIMARÃES (1938) in Municipio de Abaeté (Estado do Pará, Brazil) gave the incidence of 1.48% for the natural infection in human, 4.49% in dogs, and 2.63% in cats. The infection was arcribed (CUNHA & CHAGAS, 1937) to a new species of Leishmania (L. chagasi). Latter CUNHA (1938) state, that it is identical to L. infantum. ADLER (1940) found that so far it has been impossible to distinguish L. chagasi from L. infantum by any laboratory test but a final judgment must be reserved until further experiments with different species of sandflies have been carried out. Skin changes in canine Kala Azar were signaled by many workers, and their importance as regards the transmission of the disease is recognized by some of them (ADLER & THEODOR, 1931, 2. CUNHA, 1933). Cutaneous ulcers in naturally infected dogs are referred by CRITIEN (1911) in Malta, by CHODUKIN & SCHEVTSCHENKO (1928) in Taschkent, by DONATIEN & LESTOCQUARD (1929) and by LESTOCQUARD & PARROT (1929) in Algeria, and by BLANC & CAMINOPETROS (1931) in Greece. Depilation is signaled by YAKIMOFF & KOHL-YAKIMOFF (1911) in Tunis, by YAKIMOFF (1915) in Turkestan. Eczematous areas or a condition described as "eczema furfurace" is sometimes noted in the areas of depilation (DONATIEN & LESTOCQUARD). The skin changes noticed by ADLER & THEODOR (1932) in dogs naturally infected with Mediterranean Kala Azar can be briefly summarized as a selective infiltration of macrophages around hair follicles including the sebaceous glands and the presence of infected macrophages in normal dermis. The latter phenomenon in the complete absence of secondary infiltration of round cells and plasma cells is the most striking characteristic of canine Kala Azar and differentiates it from L. tropica. In the more advanced stages the dermis is more cellular than that of normal dogs and may even contain a few small dense areas of infiltration with macrophages and some round cells and polymorphs. The external changes, i. e., seborrhea and depilation are roughly proportional to the number of affected hair follicles. In dogs experimentally infected with South-American Kala Azar the parasites were regularly found in blocks of skin removed from the living animal every fortnight (CUNHA, 1938). The changes noticed by CUNHA, besides the presence of Leishmania, were perivascular and diffuse infiltration of the cutis with mononuclears sometimes more marked near hair follicles, as well as depilation, seborrhea and ulceration. The parasites were first discovered and very numerous in the paws. Our material was obtained from dogs experimentally infected by Dr. A. MARQUES DA CUNHA< and they were the subject of a previous paper by CUNHA (1938). In this study, however, several animals were discarded as it was found that they did develop a superimposed infection by Demodex canis. This paper deals with the changes found in 88 blocks of skin removed from five dogs, two infected with two different canine strains, and three with two distinct human strains of South-American Kala Azar. CUNHA'S valuable material affords serial observations of the cutaneous changes in Kala Azar as most of the blocks of skin were taken every fortnight. The following conclusions were drawn after a careful microscopic study. (1) Skin changes directly induced in the dog by the parasites of South-American Kala Azar may b described as an infiltration of the corium (pars papillaris and upper portion of the reticular layer) by histocytes. Parasites are scanty, at first, latter becoming very numerous in the cytoplasm of such cells. Sometimes the histocytes either embedding or not leishman bodies appear as distinct nodes of infiltration or cell aggregations (histocytic granuloma, Figs. 8 and 22) having a perivascular distribution. The capillary loops in the papillae, the vessels of the sweat glands, the subpapillary plexus, the vertical twigs connecting the superficial and deep plexuses are the ordinary seats of the histocytic Kala Azar granulomata. (2) Some of the cutaneous changes are transient, and show spontaneous tendency to heal. A gradual transformation of the histocytes either containing or not leishman bodies into fixed connective tissue cells or fibroblasts occut and accounts for the natural regression just mentioned. Figs. 3, 5, 18, 19 and 20 are good illustrations of such fibroblastic transformation of the histocytic Kala Azar granulomata. (3) Skin changes induced by the causative organism of South-American Kala Azar are neither uniform nor simultaneous. The same stage may be found in the same dog in different periods of the disease, and not the same changes take place when pieces from several regions are examined in the same moment. The fibroblastic transformation of the histocytic granulomata marking the beginning of the process of repair, e. g., was recognised in dog C, in the 196th as well as in the 213rd (Fig. 18) and 231st (Fig. 19) days after the inoculation. (4) The connective tissue of the skin in dogs experimentally infected with South-American Kala Azar is overflowed by blood cells (monocytes and lymphocytes) besides the proliferation in situ of undifferentiated mesenchymal cells. A marked increase in the number of cells specially the "ruhende Wanderzellen" (Figs. 4 and 15) is noticed even during the first weeks after inoculation (prodomal stage) when no leishman bodies are yet found in the skin. Latter a massive infiltration by amoeboid wandering cells similar to typical blood monocytes (Fig. 21) associated to a small number of lymphocytes and plasma cells (Figs. 9, 17, 21, and 24) indicates that the emigration of blood cells...


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