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Open Access Short report

Detection of Leishmania parasites in the testis of a dog affected by orchitis: case report

Laura Manna1*, Orlando Paciello2, Rossella Della Morte3 and Angelo Elio Gravino1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Naples Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137, Naples, Italy

2 Department of Animal Pathology and Health, University of Naples Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137, Naples, Italy

3 Department of Biological Structures, Functions and Technologies, University of Naples Federico II, Via F. Delpino 1, 80137, Naples, Italy

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Parasites & Vectors 2012, 5:216  doi:10.1186/1756-3305-5-216

Published: 28 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Transmission of canine leishmaniasis (CanL), a severe infection caused by L. infantum, usually occurs through the sand fly bite to the vertebrate host. A venereal route of transmission has also been suggested, but this issue is still controversial.

Findings

Here, we report a case of a dog affected by orchitis showing a clinical profile of L. infantum infection. By exploiting a real-time PCR assay, we detected a significantly higher DNA load of the parasite in the lymph node and testis than in blood and urine samples collected from the dog.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that: 1) L. infantum infection can be associated with testicular lesions in naturally infected dogs; 2) genital involvement could result in shedding of the parasites in the semen, favoring venereal transmission of the disease.

Keywords:
Dog; Leishmaniasis; Orchitis; Real-time PCR; Testis