Survey of Wild and Domestic Mammals for Infection with Leishmania infantum following an Outbreak of Desert Zoonotic Visceral Leishmaniasis in Jiashi, People's Republic of China

Gao, Chun-hua; Wang, Jun-yun; Zhang, Song; Yang, Yue-tao; Wang, Yong
July 2015
PLoS ONE;7/15/2015, Vol. 10 Issue 7, p1
Academic Journal
In 2008 and 2009, an outbreak of desert-subtype zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis occurred in Jiashi county, Xinjiang, China. So far, no animal reservoir has been identified for this type of visceral leishmaniasis. Therefore, we surveyed the most common mammals (wild and domestic) for Leishmania infections during the outbreak in 2008 and 2009 in order to identify the source of the visceral leishmaniasis in this region. Spleen, liver, bone marrow and blood samples collected from 86 wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus), 61midday jirds (Meriones meridianus) and 27 Yarkand hares (Lepus yarkandensis) were tested for the presence of Leishmania by microscopy, culture and PCR. All of the animals were found to be negative for Leishmania infections; On the other hand, Leishmania DNA was detected in blood samples collected from livestock reared in the outbreak area: 30.36% (17/56) of sheep, 21.57% (11/51) of goats, 17.78% (8/45) of cattle, and 21.62 (8/37) of donkeys were positive for Leishmania DNA by PCR. The amplified kDNA sequences from the livestock samples matched Leishmania DNA sequences isolated from patients with visceral leishmaniasis in the study area. We suggest that these domestic mammals are a possible reservoir host for Leishmania infantum in the outbreak area.


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