03090: Leishmaniasis in Imported Dogs
Grant Status: Open
Canine importation is a growing practice in North America and this has led to the introduction of new diseases of canine health significance, including canine leishmaniasis. Anecdotal evidence suggests that veterinarians are encountering cases of canine leishmaniasis on a regular basis and many of these have poor clinical outcomes. The objectives of this research project are to 1) estimate the prevalence of Leishmania spp. infection in imported dogs, 2) identify lifestyle and medical risk factors associated with infection with Leishmania spp., 3) describe the clinical picture of imported cases of canine leishmaniasis and 4) evaluate the risk of local dog-to-dog Leishmania spp. transmission. Researchers will conduct a prospective cross-sectional study of 195 owned dogs imported within the last 18-months from countries endemic for canine leishmaniasis. The team will collect serum and whole blood for Leishmania spp. infection diagnosis along with a lifestyle and medical history. A prevalence estimate will be generated and associations between Leishmania spp. infection and lifestyle and medical history will be explored via statistical modelling. Dogs (n=25) with clinical disease will be enrolled in a prospective case-series study and their clinical course of disease and response to treatment will be followed over 2 years. Other dogs in the household will also be tested for Leishmania spp. infection to evaluate potential dog-to-dog transmission. This study will generate a comprehensive baseline picture of canine leishmaniasis in dogs imported to North America, which will be used to make evidence-based recommendations for canine importation and generate educational materials for veterinarians and pet owners to ensure this population of dogs receives appropriate care. These findings will also help with future risks assessments for local Leishmania spp. transmission.
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Help Future Generations of Dogs
Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.