Molecular Survey on Leishmania Infantum Infection in Red Foxes (Vulpes Vulpes) From Romania

Angela Monica IONICĂ, Georgiana DEAK, Zsuzsa KALMÁR, Călin Mircea GHERMAN, Andrei Daniel MIHALCA, Mirabela Oana DUMITRACHE


Leishmania spp. (Kinetoplastida, Trypanosomatidae) are parasitic protozoans transmitted by sand flies to animals and humans. In Europe, the predominant species is Leishmania infantum, the agent of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) and of visceral (VL) and cutaneous (CL) forms in humans. Despite being regarded as a non-endemic country, recent data from Romania have shown the occurrence of autochthonous cases of human and canine infections. The aim of this study was to investigate the occurrence of L.infantum in red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) from Romania. Between December 2016 and April 2017, 514 foxes originating from ten counties of Romania were evaluated and individual conjunctival swab samples were tested for the presence of L. infantum DNA by means of real-time PCR. All samples were negative. However, considering the new national epidemiological context, the importance of the red fox as sentinel and its potential role in the epidemiology of this disease in Romania should not be disregarded in the future.


Leishmania, CanL, Vulpes vulpes, Romania

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