Leishmaniosis: new insights in a changing world

G. Alexandre-pires, M. Santos, M. A. Rodrigues, M. A. Pereira, J. Gomes, S. A. Diaz, L. Gomes, A. Basso, A. Reisinho, J. Gomes, R. Leal, J. Correia, A. Bolas, J. Meireles, G. Santos-gomes, I. Pereira-da-fonseca

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Canine leishmaniosis caused by Leishmania infantum is a zoonotic disease of serious veterinary concern in the Mediterranean basin. In Portugal has been reported in dogs, cats and synanthropic rodents. Epidemiological changes and new hosts may contribute to increase zoonotic risk. A better knowledge on immune response, treatment and diagnosis are at the forefront of research on this disease. Host immune response is multifactorial, reflecting the organ specificity. Macrophages (MØ) are the definitive host cells, although neutrophils (PMN) are the first cells to encounter parasites soon after inoculation in the dermis. The PMN-parasite interaction decreases parasite viability, but PMN-MØ interaction induces nitric oxide production and release of neutrophil extracellular traps that contain parasites, controlling dog infection at early stages. Liver resident Kupffer cells (KC) efficiently phagocyte Leishmania by establishing an intimate contact with circulating blood. The impact of meglumine antimoniate (MG) over infected canine KC was investigated. The effect of different treatment protocols in dog’s immune response was assessed. MG+miltefosine treatments plus allopurinol restore lymphokine gene expression, pointing through a drug-induced reduction of anti-inflammatory and regulatory cytokines. Furthermore, increasing feline leishmaniosis and the inconsistent results of therapeutic protocols led the team to evaluate their safety and effectiveness in cat.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in animal health, medicine and production
Subtitle of host publicationa research portrait of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health (CIISA), University of Lisbon, Portugal
EditorsAntonio Freitas Duarte, Luís Lopes da Costa
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-61981-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-61980-0
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2020


  • Leishmania
  • Leishmaniosis
  • Host-immune-response
  • Zoonosis
  • Treatment


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