An experimental model for canine visceral leishmaniasis

Pedro Abranches, Gabriela Santos‐Gomes, Nurit Rachanim , Lenea Campino, Lionel F. Schnur , Charles L. Jaffe

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39 Citations (Scopus)


Seven mixed‐breed dogs were challenged with either promastigotes or amastigotes of Leishmania donovani infantum strains recently isolated from naturally infected dogs. Different routes and numbers of parasites were utilized and each dog was monitored for at least 1 year post‐infection. Anti‐parasite specific antibody levels were measured by enzyme‐linked immunosorbence, immunofluorescence, crossed‐immune electrophoresis and Western blotting on crude antigen. Western blotting on two pure parasite proteins, dp72 and gp70‐2. was also done. Mitogenic and antigen‐specific stimulation of peripheral blood lymphocytes was monitored; and the haematological, clinical and parasitological parameters measured. Dogs challenged with amastigotes exhibited a more pronounced humoral response to leishmanial antigens. Only in one case was strong antigen‐specific proliferation detected. Clinical signs of disease, including hypergammaglobulinaemia, enlarged lymph nodes and the presence of parasites, were also more apparent in the dogs challenged with amastigotes. None of the seven dogs died. Serum antibodies to leishmanial antigens were apparent between 15 to 3 months following challenge and correlated with the appearance of enlarged lymph nodes, hypergammaglobulinaemia and the presence of parasites in tissue biopsies. Serum antibodies remained chronically high in these dogs throughout the period of the study. Only one dog (1/3) challenged intravenously with promastigotes and the dog challenged intradermally with amastigotes produced transient antibody responses to leishmanial antigen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-550
Number of pages14
JournalParasite Immunology
VolumeVol. 13
Issue numbern.º 5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1991


  • Dogs
  • dp72
  • gp70‐2
  • Leishmania donovani
  • Model system


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