This podcast is produced by Davies Veterinary Specialists. Ian Battersby and Patricia Ibarrola from give us a detailed account of Leishmaniasis disease in veterinary practice.
The primary mode of transmission for this zoonosis is vector transmission via the sandfly. We hear about how hot spots have developed within Europe and which particular species are relevant globally. What are the chances of transmission for dogs that haven’t travelled to endemic areas?
What forms of transmission besides the sandfly need to be considered? Are ticks and fleas able to spread the infection? The most common clinical presentation of leishmaniasis is dermatological. We often see weight loss over a prolonged period, skin lesions, and depending on the stage of disease renal compromise.
Cytology, PCR or serology – which is the best way to confirm the presence of an active infection, and which sites should be sampled? How does the speed of seroconversion compare to infection with Leptospirosis?
Which infectious diseases should we always check for concurrently? Monitoring is crucial to manage disease. Since treatment isn’t curative, it’s especially important that any recurrence of active infection is caught early to reduce the risk of severe renal disease.
There are four clinical stages to infection – see this factsheet.
Three main drugs are used in treatment – allopurinol, meglumine antimoniate and miltefosine. What protocol is advisable? How long before patients respond to treatment, and what options are there if there is no improvement? Finally we hear about how owners should reduce the risk of infection using avoidance and repellants.