Leishmaniosis is a disease caused by protozoan parasites of the genus Leishmania and transmitted through the bites of female phlebotomine sand flies. More than 23 species of Leishmania have been described, most of which are zoonotic. The most critical Leishmania parasite to affect domestic animals is L infantum, also known as L chagasi in Latin America. Dogs are the primary reservoir host for human visceral leishmaniosis caused by L infantum, and the disease is potentially fatal in dogs and people.
Key signs range from localized cutaneous lesions to lymphadenopathy and renal failure for visceral disease. Because the internal organs and skin of the dog are affected, the canine disease is termed viscerocutaneous or canine leishmaniosis. Cats, horses, and other mammals can be infected by L infantum or other Leishmania species. The condition in cats is rarer than in dogs and may manifest in cutaneous or visceral organs.
Canine leishmaniosis is a significant zoonosis endemic in >89 countries. It is prevalent in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South and Central America and is vertically transmitted from dog to dog in the USA. L braziliensis, the cause of tegumentary canine leishmaniosis, is widespread in regions of South America and may geographically overlap with L chagasi. It is also of concern in nonendemic countries where imported disease constitutes a veterinary and public health problem.
Treatment options are limited by World Health Organization guidelines in human disease-endemic areas and by drugs that are FDA-approved within the USA. Still, they include a combination of allopurinol with miltefosine or liposomal amphotericin B within the USA and glucantime internationally.
Various quantitative serologic methods to detect anti-Leishmania antibodies have been developed, including indirect immunofluorescence assays, ELISA, and direct agglutination assays. Bioguard has designed and manufactured a sandwich lateral flow immunochromatographic assay to detect Leishmania antibodies quickly. The rapid test is available as a solo and 4-in-1 combo kit with other prevalent canine vector-borne diseases.
The 4-in1 combo test developed by Bioguard can detect:
- Leishmania antibodies (for Leishmaniosis)
- Dirofilaria immitis antigen ( for Canine Heartworm Disease)
- Anaplasma phagocytophilum/platys antibodies (for Anaplasmosis)
- Ehrlichiosis canis antibodies (for Canine Ehrlichiosis)