Detection of Leishmania (L.) infantum in stray dogs by molecular techniques with sensitive species-specific primers

Rodrigo C. Silva, Virgínia B. Richini-Pereira, Mariana Kikuti, Pâmela M. Marson, Helio Langoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Canine visceral leishmaniasis (CVL) is a worldwide parasitic zoonosis caused by Leishmania (Leishmania) infantum around the world. Canids are the definitive hosts and sand flies the intermediate hosts. Objective: To test the hypothesis that a new species-specific primers (Lch14:Lch15, targeting a multiple alignment for L. infantum kDNA minicircle) is an efficient diagnostic tool for L. infantum. Methods: The presence of L. infantum DNA was assessed in blood samples of 69 stray dogs using the conventional PCR (cPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR). Additional 50 lymph nodes and 50 bone marrow samples (positive and negative samples for parasitological tests) from dogs from endemic and nonendemic areas for CVL were also used. Results: L. infantum strains, and all positive lymph node and bone marrow samples for parasitological test gave positive results for cPCR and qPCR, presenting analytical sensitivity of ∼10° parasite mL−1. For the blood samples, 40/69 (58%; CI 95%; 46%-69%) resulted positive for L. infantum in both tests. All positive samples were confirmed by sequencing. Conclusion: This study showed the importance of the specific detection of L. infantum based on species-specific primers by molecular techniques, highlighting the application as a confirmation method in epidemiological studies and to adopt the best control measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-30
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Leishmania Collection of the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (CLIOC), and Trypanosoma Collection of Wild and Domestic Mammals, and Vectors (ColTryp) for providing all 10 panels of Leishmania spp., and Trypanosoma cruzi strains, and S?o Paulo State University (UNESP) for the logistical support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Canine
  • KDNA
  • Leishmania infantum
  • PCR
  • Stray dogs


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