Canine leishmaniasis (CanL) due to Leishmania infantum is a disease of great veterinary importance and a serious public health problem. In humans, L. infantum causes visceral (VL) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and the distribution of VL overlaps that of CanL. Currently, VL is considered by WHO as an emerging zoonosis in southern Europe. The dog is the only domestic reservoir of the infection and phlebotomine sandflies are the only proven vectors of leishmaniasis for dogs and humans. CanL is endemic in Italy, particularly in central and southern regions, including islands. Until 1983, all regions of northern Italy but Liguria and some territories of Emilia Romagna were considered free from CanL. From early '90s new stable foci of CanL have appeared, most of them located within classical endemic areas including territories of Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Umbria, Marche, and Abruzzi regions. But the most relevant aspect, from an epidemiological point of view, has been the appearance of stable CanL foci in northern Italy, namely in Veneto and Piedmont regions. In these two foci, entomological surveys showed the presence of P. perniciosus and of a second phlebotomine vector, P. neglectus, which may have played a role in the CanL diffusion in some parts of northern Italy. Furthermore, in these areas, autochthonous human VL cases have occurred. There is therefore a realistic risk that CanL infection could rapidly spread through northern latitudes and a surveillance activity is strongly needed. For this reason, in October 2002, thanks to the collaboration and support of Intervet Italia, the network "LeishMap" was created, with the main purpose of monitoring the spread of CanL and vectors in northern Italy. LeishMap consists of scientific and sanitary institutions with proven experience both in field surveys and diagnostic methodologies on CanL and phlebotomine vector. It is organised in 4 Operational Units (OU), represented by researchers of the Veterinary Faculties of the University of Bologna, Padua, Milan and Turin, under the scientific coordination of the MIPI Department, ISS of Rome and with the collaboration of private and public veterinarians operating in the regions under study. During the first year of activity, each OU was involved in the serological and entomological surveillance of several territories in the respective regions, where recent autochthonous CanL cases were registered. The studies have involved five regions, namely Valle D'Aosta, Piedmont, Lombardia, Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Emilia Romagna. In the Symposium 6 of this Congress we report detailed results of a retrospective analysis of data concerning CanL and vectors in northern Italy till 2002 and the preliminary results of 2003 on the seroprevalence rates observed in foci studied and on the entomological surveys carried out. In summary, the results outlined that already known foci of CanL are expanding from the original sites. Several new foci have been identified and many others are at high risk of evolving toward a stable endemicity. P. perniciosus has been found in all but one the suspected new foci. In Emilia Romagna region P. perfiliewi was identified in 2 areas and in one was the only species present. The occurrence of P. neglectus was confirmed in three regions, Veneto, Lombardia and Piedmont. In conclusion, from the 2002-2003 LeishMap activities it appears that further monitoring activities are necessary to identify new endemic foci of CanL, this representing the prerequisite for the implementation of programs for leishmaniasis control in northern Italy.
|Titolo:||Monitoring of canine leishmaniasis in northern Italy : an update from a scientific network|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali|
|Data di pubblicazione:||giu-2004|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|