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‘Huge concern’ over leishmaniosis prompts new advice

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The usual route of transmission of leishmaniasis, in both people and dogs, is through the bite from a female phlebotomine sandfly

By Josh Loeb

Infectious disease experts this week are calling for the adoption of four measures to protect the dog and human populations in the UK from leishmaniasis.

They recommend:

  • Screening in the UK, both of dogs imported from Leishmania-endemic regions and among ‘contact populations’ of dogs presenting with leishmaniosis.

  • Veterinary follow-ups of at-risk dogs to ensure seroconversion does not occur.

  • Exclusion of subclinically infected dogs from being blood donors.

  • Vaccination – as well as use of topical insecticides – for dogs travelling to endemic areas.

The calls have been made by a vet and research scientist – Christine Petersen and Malcolm S. Duthie – in a research comment in this week’s issue (pp 438-440). It follows the discovery of a new and unusual case of leishmaniosis in an ‘untravelled’ dog (p 441) that is believed to have caught the disease from another dog in its household rather than the usual route of being infected by the sandfly …

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