Experimental canine leishmaniasis: evolution of infection following re-challenge with Leishmania infantum

Gabriela M. Santos-Gomes, M J Riça Capela, João Ramada, Lenea Campino

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11 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the study was to assess the clinical, parasitological and immunological effect of a second inoculation of amastigotes in dogs previously inoculated with Leishmania infantum. Three dogs primarily inoculated with amastigotes (Group I) and four with cultured virulent stationary phase promastigotes (Group II) were afterwards re-inoculated with 2×109 amastigotes per kg. Three other groups of dogs were used as controls: Group III was infected only once with amastigotes, Group IV only once with promastigotes and Group V was non infected. The animals were followed up by clinical and parasitological examinations, hematological and serum protein analysis, anti-leishmanial antibody levels and proliferative assays of specific peripheral blood mononuclear cells over a period up to 50 months. Parasites were isolated from lymph node of three animals during primary amastigote infection and in five animals (Group I and II) after re-challenge. Group I dogs presented a strong increase of the humoral immune response while Group II animals displayed no significant or significantly low antileishmanial antibodies titres, after re-challenge. The detection, only after challenge, of positive specific lymphoproliferation in two animals of Group II that had the longest primary infection interval (more than 26 months), indicates the requirement of a long time interval to obtain specific lymphocyte sensitization. A previous exposure to virulent cultured L. infantum promastigotes seems to confer some degree of resistance against an amastigote infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-244
Number of pages10
JournalActa Tropica
VolumeVol. 87
Issue numbern.º 2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2003


  • Amastigotes
  • Dogs
  • Immune response
  • Leishmania infantum
  • Promastigotes
  • Secondary infection


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