Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 625–629 | Cite as

Leishmania infantum is present in vaginal secretions of naturally infected bitches at lower levels in oestrogenized bitches than in non-oestrogenized bitches

  • Alinne Gonçalves Magro
  • Viviane Pedersoli Assis
  • Lucélia Coimbra Silva
  • Wagner Luiz Tafuri
  • Soraia Oliveira Silva
  • Maria Norma Melo
  • Guilherme Ribeiro ValleEmail author


Naturally Leishmania infantum infected bitches were divided into oestrogenized (n = 11) and non-oestrogenized (n = 6) groups. Vaginal secretions were collected for polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and vulval, vaginal and uterine tissues were collected for the immunohistochemical (IHQ) identification of L. infantum. Parasite DNA was identified in vaginal secretions of non-oestrogenized (41.8%) and oestrogenized (18.2%) bitches (P<0.05; Fisher’s Exact test). IHQ was positive in vulvar dermis (23.5%) and vaginal mucosa (17.7%) but negative in endometrium of all bitches. Poor association between positive vaginal secretion PCR and tissue IHQ (Kappa index) were observed. The results showed that genital secretions are a potential source for dog contamination.


Leishmania infantum bitch genital secretions 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alvar J., Vélez I.D. Bern C., Herrero M., Desjeux P., Cano J., et al. 2012. Leishmaniasis worldwide and global estimates of its incidence. PLoS One, 7, e35671. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boechat C.V., Mendes Júnior A.A.V., Madeira M.F., Ferreira L.C., Figueiredo F.B., Rodrigues F.C.C., et al. 2016. Occurrence of Leishmania infantum and associated histological alterations in the genital tract and mammary glands of naturally infected dogs. Parasitology Research, 115, 2371–2379. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-016-4987-4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ciaramella P., Oliva G., Luna R.D., Gradoni L., Ambrosio R., Cortese L., et al. 1997. A retrospective clinical study of canine leishmaniasis in 150 dogs naturally infected by Leishmania infantum. The Veterinary Record, 141, 539–543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Concannon P.W., Dillingham L., Spitz I.M. 1988. Effects of the antiprogestin RU486 on progesterone-dependent uterine development and bioassay of progestational activity in estrogenprimed immature female dogs. Acta Endocrinologica, 118, 389–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coutinho M.T., Bueno L.L., Sterzik A., Fujiwara R.T., Botelho J.R., de Maria M., et al. 2005. Participation of Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Acari: Ixodidae) in the epidemiology of canine visceral leishmaniasis. Veterinary Parasitology, 128, 149–155. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2004.11.011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Diniz S.A., Melo M.S., Borges A.M., Bueno R., Reis B.P., Tafuri W.L., et al. 2005. Genital lesions associated with visceral leishmaniasis and shedding of Leishmania sp. in the semen of naturally infected dogs. Veterinary Pathology, 42, 650–658. DOI: 10.1354/vp.42-5-650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dubey J.P., Rosypal A.C., Pierce V., Scheinberg S.N., Lindsay D.S. 2005. Placentitis associated with leishmaniasis in a dog. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, 227, 1266–1269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ferreira S.A., Ituassu L.T., Melo M.N., Andrade A.S.R. 2008. Evaluation of the conjunctival swab for canine visceral leishmaniasis diagnosis by PCR-hybridization in Minas Gerais State, Brazil. Veterinary Parasitology, 152, 257–263. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.12.022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Freitas E., Melo M.N., Costa-Val A.P., Michalick M.S. 2006. Transmission of Leishmania infantum via blood transfusion in dogs: potential for infection and importance of clinical factors. Veterinary Parasitology, 137, 159–167. DOI: 10.1016/J.VETPAR.2005.12.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gaskin A.A., Schantz P., Jackson J., Birkenheur A., Tomlinson L., Gramiccia M., et al. 2002. Visceral leishmaniasis in a New York foxhound kennel. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 16, 34–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Karkamo V., Kaistinen A., Näreaho A., Dillard K., Vainio-Siukola K., Vidgrén G., et al. 2014. The first report of autochthonous non-vector-borne transmission of canine leishmaniasis in the Nordic countries. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica, 56, 84. DOI: 10.1186/s13028-014-0084-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Landis J.R., Koch G.G. 1977. The measurement of observer agreement for categorical data. Biometrics, 33, 159–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Maret A., Coudert J.D., Garidou L., Foucras G., Gourdy P., Krust A., et al. 2003. Estradiol enhances primary antigen-specific CD4 T cells responses and Th1 development in vivo. Essential role of estrogen receptor alpha expression in hematopoietic cells. European Journal of Immunology, 33, 512–521. DOI: 10.1002/immu.200310027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Paltrinieri S., Gradoni L., Roura X., Zatelli A., Zini E. 2016. Laboratory tests for diagnosing and monitoring canine leishmaniasis. Veterinary Clinical Pathology, 45, 552–578. DOI: 10.1111/vcp.12413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Pangrazio K.K., Costa E.A., Amarilla S.P., Cino A.G., Silva T.M., Paixão T.A., et al. 2009. Tissue distribution of Leishmania chagasi and lesions in transplacentally infected fetuses from symptomatic and asymptomatic naturally infected bitches. Veterinary Parasitology, 165, 327–331. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2009.07.013CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Papadogiannakis E.I., Koutinas A.F. 2015. Cutaneous immune mechanisms in canine leishmaniosis due to Leishmania infantum. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 163, 94–102. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2014.11.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Piarroux R., Azaiez R., Lossi A.M., Reynier P., Muscatelli F., Gambarelli F., et al. 1993. Isolation and characterization of a repetitive DNA sequence of Leishmania infantum: development of visceral leishmaniasis polymerase chain reaction. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 49, 364–369CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pires M.A., Payan-Carreira R. 2015. Resident macrophages and lymphocytes in the canine endometrium. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 50, 740–749. DOI: 10.1111/rda.12567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reguera R.M., Morán M., Pérez-Pertejo Y., García-Estrada C., Balaña-Fouce R. 2016. Current status on prevention and treatment of canine leishmaniasis. Veterinary Parasitology, 227, 98–114. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2016.07.011CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Root Kustritz M.V. 2005. Reproductive behavior of small animals. Theriogenology, 64, 734–746. DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2005.05.022CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Root Kustritz M.V. 2012. Managing the reproductive cycle in the bitch. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 42, 423–437. DOI: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2012.01.012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Silva L.C., Assis V.P., Ribeiro V.M., Tafuri W.L., Toledo Júnior J.C., Silva S.O., et al. 2014. Detection of Leishmania infantum in the smegma of infected dogs. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia, 66, 731–736. DOI: 10.1590/1678-41626610CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Silva F.L., Oliveira R.G., Silva T.M.A., Xavier M.N., Santos R.L. 2009. Venereal transmission of canine visceral leishmaniasis. Veterinary Parasitology, 160, 55–59. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2008.10.079CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Silva F.L., Rodrigues A.A.M., Rego I.O.P., Oliveira R.G., Silva T.M., Xavier M.N., et al. 2008. Genital lesions and distribution of amastigotes in bitches naturally infected with Leishmania chagasi. Veterinary Parasitology, 151, 86–90. DOI: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2007.09.032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sugiura K., Nishikawa M., Ishiguro K., Tajima T., Inaba M., Torii R., et al. 2004. Effect of ovarian hormones on periodical changes in immune resistance associated with estrous cycle in the beagle bitch. Immunobiology, 209, 619–627. DOI: 10.1016/j.imbio.2004.09.003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Tafuri W.L., Santos R.L., Arantes R.M.E., Gonçalves R., Melo M.N., Michalick M.S.M., Tafuri W.L. 2004. An alternative immunohistochemical method for detecting Leishmania amastigotes in paraffin-embedded canine tissues. Journal of Immunology Methods, 292, 17–23. DOI: 10.1016/j.jim.2004.05.009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tammer I., Blendinger K., Sobiraj A., Bostedt H. 1994. The use of exfoliative vaginal cytology for the gynecological evaluation of the bitch. Tierärztliche Praxis, 22, 199–207PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alinne Gonçalves Magro
    • 1
  • Viviane Pedersoli Assis
    • 1
  • Lucélia Coimbra Silva
    • 1
  • Wagner Luiz Tafuri
    • 3
  • Soraia Oliveira Silva
    • 3
  • Maria Norma Melo
    • 3
  • Guilherme Ribeiro Valle
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Departamento de Medicina Veterinária da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas GeraisBetimBrazil
  2. 2.Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia de Vertebrados da Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas GeraisBairro Coração EucarísticoBelo HorizonteBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto de Ciências Biológicas da Universidade Federal de Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil

Personalised recommendations