University of Cambridge > > Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine > Zoonotic leishmaniosis: don’t put the blame on dogs only

Zoonotic leishmaniosis: don’t put the blame on dogs only

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Leishmaniosis is a zoonotic vector-borne disease caused by protozoa of the genus Leishmania. The disease is transmitted by the bite of phlebotomine sand flies which act as biological vectors. In Europe, the same species, namely L. infantum, is the agent of canine and human leishmaniosis. Although regarded for long time as tropical or sub-tropical diseases, leishmaniosis has been endemic for long time in southern Europe, and is now spreading northwards. Dogs are considered the main reservoir for human infections but other new reservoirs have recently been suspected. Cats living in endemic areas may display, indeed, similar percentage of infection of dogs and their infectivity to sand flies have been largely demonstrated. Wild animals may also contribute to the spreading of the disease and have been incriminated as main reservoirs of recent epidemic outbreak of human leishmaniosis in Spain. The speech will review the current understanding of zoonotic leishmaniosis in Europe and will put forward the hypothesis of animal reservoirs other than dogs.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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