Serological survey of Leishmania infection in dogs from the municipality of Peso da Régua (Alto Douro, Portugal) using the direct agglutination test (DAT) and fast agglutination screening test (FAST)

Luís Cardoso, Henk D. F. H. Schallig, Francisco Neto, Nel Kroon, Manuela Rodrigues

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Abstract

Leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum is a prevalent disease in dogs and humans. A serological survey of Leishmania infection in dogs was carried out in the endemic region of Alto Douro (north Portugal). Two hundred and ninety-four dogs from the municipality of Peso da Régua were examined for clinical signs of canine leishmaniasis (CanL), and sera samples were evaluated by the direct agglutination test (DAT) and the fast agglutination screening test (FAST). The sero-prevalence of infection was 20.4%, after screening the study population by FAST and subsequent confirmation by DAT. The overall prevalence of disease was 3.1%. Only 15.0% of the sero-positive dogs had clinical signs of CanL. A high degree of agreement (88.4%; kappa value = 0.71) was found between DAT and FAST. This study further demonstrates that FAST can be used as a simple, rapid and sensitive screening test for canine Leishmania infection in areas of high endemicity and, together with DAT, is a valuable tool in the assessment of CanL
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-100
JournalActa Tropica
Volume91
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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