Pathology of dogs in Campo Grande, MS, Brazil naturally co-infected with Leishmania infantum and Ehrlichia canis

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Abstract

Different parasites that commonly occur concomitantly can influence one another, sometimes with unpredictable effects. We evaluated pathological aspects of dogs naturally co-infected with Leishmania infantum and Ehrlichia canis. The health status of the dogs was investigated based on histopathological, hematological and biochemical analyses of 21 animals infected solely with L. infantum and 22 dogs co- infected with L. infantum and E. canis. The skin of both groups showed chronic, predominantly lymphohistioplasmacytic inflammatory reaction. The plasmacytosis in the lymphoid tissues was likely related with the hypergammaglobulinemia detected in all the dogs. The disorganization of extracellular matrix found in the reticular dermis of the inguinal region and ear, characterized by the substitution of thick collagen fibers for thin fibers, was attributed to the degree of inflammatory reaction, irrespective of the presence of parasites. In addition, the histopathological analysis revealed that twice as many dogs in the co-infected group presented Leishmania amastigotes in the ear skin than those infected solely with Leishmania, increasing the possibility of becoming infected through sand fly vectors. Our findings highlight the fact that the health of dogs infected concomitantly with L. infantum and E. canis is severely compromised due to their high levels of total plasma protein, globulins, alkaline phosphatase and creatine kinase, and severe anemia.

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Andrade, G. B., Barreto, W. T. G., dos Santos, L. L., Ribeiro, L. R. R., de Macedo, G. C., de Sousa, K. C. M., … Herrera, H. M. (2014). Pathology of dogs in Campo Grande, MS, Brazil naturally co-infected with Leishmania infantum and Ehrlichia canis. Revista Brasileira de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 23(4), 509–515. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1984-29612014081

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