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Mapping canine leishmaniasis in Europe

M. J. Mattin, L. Solano-Gallego, S. Dhollander, A. Afonso, D. C. Brodbelt

LEISHMANIASIS can cause fatal disease in both people and dogs. The condition, usually caused by infection with Leishmania infantum, is endemic in some parts of Europe, with dogs as the main reservoir host. Recent years have seen a northward shift in the geographic distribution of cases in Italy, possibly due to climate change. In addition, the increased movement of pet dogs within the European Union may result in infected dogs moving to non-endemic areas. The aim of this study was to collect data on the prevalence and treatment of leishmaniasis in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

An online questionnaire was sent to veterinarians in the five countries and respondents were asked to detail leishmaniasis cases that they had seen in the preceding year. Data were also obtained from a French benchmarking company, which extracted information from practice management systems on treatments given for leishmaniasis.

A total of 1218 questionnaires from veterinary practitioners in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain were included in the final analysis. The prevalence of canine leishmaniasis within the preceding 12 months ranged from 0.71 per cent in France to 7.8 per cent in Greece, which corresponded to a …

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