Authors: SERKAN BAKIRCI, HÜSEYİN BİLGİN BİLGİÇ, ONUR KÖSE, AYÇA AKSULU, SELİN HACILARLIOĞLU, HASAN ERDOĞAN, TÜLİN KARAGENÇ
Abstract: Canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is a protozoal disease caused by Leishmania species. Dogs play an important role as a reservoir. The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of CanL by molecular and serological techniques among stray dogs living in kennels in Aydın, Manisa, and İzmir, located in western Turkey. Blood samples were collected from a total of 191 dogs and analyzed using indirect immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The isolates that tested positive using PCR were further analyzed by real-time PCR for species identification and confirmation. A total of 21 (10.99%) dogs were found to be seropositive by IFAT. Molecular analysis revealed that 8 (4.19%) of the examined dogs were positive for L. infantum/donovani complex and two were found to be positive only by genus-specific PCR. The findings obtained from the screened animals indicate a higher risk of getting an infection caused by a Leishmania spp. in areas where the study was carried out. With this field study, it was obvious that to control the spread of disease into nonendemic areas, preventive measures like application of long-acting topical insecticides to infected and uninfected dogs should be taken. If necessary, positive dogs should be treated according to international guidelines and kept under control.
Keywords: Leishmania, dog, IFAT, PCR
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