Although cattle often show serological exposure, they are not thought to play a role of reservoir for this parasite.
Species recognized as pathogenic in cattle include:
- Leishmania donovani
- Leishmania siamensis
- Leishmania infantum (L. chagasi)
- Leishmania braziliensis
Most cattle are subclinically affected by this parasite, although cutaneous lesions do occur.
Diagnosis is based on presenting clinical signs supported by laboratory isolation of the parasite in blood and skin impressions.
Immunofluorescence assays, ELISA, direct agglutination and PCR assays are currently used to assist definitive diagnosis.
Treatment in cattle requires the use of the antiprotozoal drug N-methylglucamine antimoniate. Allopurinol, Miltefosine and Amphotericin B have also been reported as eefective.
Repellants or control of breeding ground where sandlfies colonise is important to prevent recurrences.
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