Canine leishmaniosis and its relationship to human visceral leishmaniasis in Eastern Uzbekistan
1 Isaev Institute, Samarkand, Uzbekistan
2 Sechenov Medical Academy, Moscow, Russia
3 IMRIC, Hebrew University - Hadassah Medical, Israel
4 School of Veterinary Medicine, Hebrew University, Israel
5 Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
Parasites & Vectors 2011, 4:58 doi:10.1186/1756-3305-4-58Published: 13 April 2011
The Namangan Region in the Pap District, located in Eastern Uzbekistan is the main focus of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Uzbekistan. In total, 28 cases of human VL were registered during 2006-2008 in this region. A study on the epidemiology of VL in this area was carried out in 2007-2008 in the villages of Chodak, Oltinkan, Gulistan and Chorkesar located at elevations of 900-1200 above sea level.
A total of 162 dogs were tested for Leishmania infection. Blood was drawn for serology and PCR. When clinical signs of the disease were present, aspirates from lymph nodes and the spleen were taken. Forty-two dogs (25.9%) had clinical signs suggestive of VL and 51 (31.5%) were sero-positive. ITS-1 PCR was performed for 135 dogs using blood and tissue samples and 40 (29.6%) of them were PCR-positive. Leishmanial parasites were cultured from lymph node or spleen aspirates from 10 dogs.
Eight Leishmania strains isolated from dogs were typed by multi-locus microsatellite typing (MLMT) and by multilocus enzyme electrophoretic analysis (MLEE), using a 15 enzyme system. These analyses revealed that the strains belong to the most common zymodeme of L. infantum, i.e., MON-1, and form a unique group when compared to MON-1 strains from other geographical regions.
The data obtained through this study confirm the existence of an active focus of VL in the Namangan region of Uzbekistan. The fact that L. infantum was the causative agent of canine infection with typical clinical signs, and also of human infection affecting only infants, suggests that a zoonotic form of VL similar in epidemiology to Mediterranean VL is present in Uzbekistan.