Veterinary Medicine and
Animal Sciences

Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences

ISSN 2054-3425
Case report

The relevance of molecular diagnosis in a dog vaccinated against leishmaniasis

Marcello Ceccarelli1, Luca Galluzzi1*, Aurora Diotallevi1, Emanuele Gasparini2, Antonella Migliazzo3 and Mauro Magnani1

*Correspondence: Luca Galluzzi

1. Department of Biomolecular Sciences, University of Urbino ''Carlo Bo'', Urbino (PU), Italy.

Author Affiliations

2. Veterinary Clinic "Santa Teresa", Fano (PU), Italy.

3. Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Sicily "A Mirri", Palermo (PA), Italy.


Background: Canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is an important problem in veterinary medicine. Since 2011, a vaccine against leishmaniasis is commercially available in Europe. This vaccination allows an approximate four-fold decrease of symptomatic active infection risk. At present, clinical observations on vaccinated dogs are limited, and in controlled experiments it has been reported that a certain number of vaccinated dogs can still be infected. In practice, these cases could be difficult to interpret based on conventional serological diagnostic tools. The current case report describes a complex diagnosis of CanL in a vaccinated dog and emphasizes the role of molecular techniques as a useful diagnostic approach.

Case presentation: An intact female 6-year-old boxer dog weighing 28 kg vaccinated against leishmaniasis was admitted to the Veterinary Clinic with mild alopecia, moderate dermatitis with abundant dandruff and a diffuse and marked lymphadenomegaly. While no relevant alterations were evidenced by hematological and biochemical analyses, the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) for Leishmania infantum was positive with a titer of 1:1280, and a qPCR analysis targeting L. infantum kinetoplast minicircle DNA suggested the diagnosis of CanL. In light of the qPCR results, the dog was subjected to anti-Leishmania therapy with miltefosine for 28 days and allopurinol for 6 months. The dog was monitored 4 times after initial diagnosis until day 294, and a progressive overall improvement and complete clinical remission was observed.

Conclusions: This case report evidences a further complexity in CanL diagnosis in vaccinated dogs, underlining the utility of a molecular approach in these particular complex cases, as previously verified in borderline cases or during disease relapse.

Keywords: Canine leishmaniasis, leishmania infantum, qPCR, vaccine

ISSN 2054-3425
Volume 4
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