Data_Sheet_1_A Novel Sampling Model to Study the Epidemiology of Canine Leishmaniasis in an Urban Environment.docx (659.71 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_A Novel Sampling Model to Study the Epidemiology of Canine Leishmaniasis in an Urban Environment.docx

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posted on 08.03.2021, 04:41 by Lucy A. Parker, Lucrecia Acosta, Mariana Noel Gutierrez, Israel Cruz, Javier Nieto, Enrique Jorge Deschutter, Fernando Jorge Bornay-Llinares

Background: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is one of the most important parasitic diseases in the world. The domestic dog is the main reservoir of zoonotic VL and a high prevalence of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is associated with transmission of infection to humans. Here we describe the methodology used to obtain a rapid and representative sample of domestic dogs in the city of Posadas, Misiones, and compare the prevalence of Leishmania infection with a sample of shelter dogs.

Methodology: We used the city land registry to make a random selection of homes and systematically recruited 349 domestic dogs from the selected properties. We also included all dogs from the main canine shelter within the city. Dogs were examined by two experienced veterinarians who recorded the presence of clinical signs common in CanL using a standardized protocol. We extracted a blood sample from each dog and performed four different serological tests to reveal the presence of anti-Leishmania antibodies.

Results: After clinical examination, 145 domestic dogs (41.5%) and 63 (90%) shelter dogs had clinical signs compatible with CanL (p < 0.001). The seroprevalence among domestic dogs was 20.1% (95% CI 16.1–24.6) which was significantly lower than among the abandoned dogs (38.6%, 95% CI 27.7–50.6, p < 0.001). The spatial distribution of infected dogs was fairly homogenous throughout the city. Among domestic dogs, we observed a positive association between where the dog slept and presence of anti-Leishmania antibodies (p = 0.034). Of the seropositive domestic dogs 38 (54.4%) were asymptomatic.

Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate how seroprevalence results can be highly influenced by sampling methodology. We demonstrate how the land registry can be used to estimate the prevalence of CanL in representative sample of domestic dogs in an urban setting, allowing decision makers to deepen their understanding the epidemiology of CanL in a timely and efficient manner for the development of plans to address both human and canine disease.