Clinical aspects and diagnosis of leishmaniasis in equids: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Leishmaniases are a group of diseases of zoonotic importance caused by over 20 species of protozoa of the genus Leishmania, in which domestic dogs are considered to be the main reservoir for the disease. However, the involvement of other vertebrates as reservoirs for these parasites has also been investigated. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to carry out a systematic review with meta-analysis on occurrences of leishmaniasis in equids. The case reports described animals with cutaneous symptoms of leishmaniasis (papules, nodules, ulcers or crusts) that regressed spontaneously, located mainly on the head and limbs, from which three species of protozoa were identified in the lesions: Leishmania braziliensis, Leishmania infantum and Leishmania siamensis. In turn, the meta-analysis showed a combined prevalence of 25%, although with high heterogeneity among the studies, which was attributed to the use of different methods for diagnosing the disease. Leishmaniasis in equids is a benign disease but it should be included in the differential diagnosis of cutaneous diseases among these species. Seroepidemiological studies are important in investigating and monitoring suspected exposure of these hosts to the parasite, especially in endemic areas. However, there is also a need to standardize diagnostic methods.

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Limeira, C. H., Alves, C. J., De Azevedo, S. S., Santos, C. D. S. A. B., De Melo, M. A., Soares, R. R., … Rodrigues, G. D. Q. (2019). Clinical aspects and diagnosis of leishmaniasis in equids: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 28(4), 574–581. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1984-29612019074

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