M. Khanmohammadi*, E. Fallah, S. Rahbari, I. Sohrabi, M. Farshchian, F. Hamzavi and A. Mohammadpour Asl
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is one of the most important endemic parasitic diseases in different parts of Iran. It is also a health problem in some tropical and subtropical countries. The purpose of the present study was to determine the seroprevalence of canine VL (CVL) in owned dogs of Sarab and to identify the isolated Leishmania species. Sera samples were taken from 384 dogs from 30 random villages around Sarab and tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) . A total of thirty five dogs were seropositive. The seroprevalence rate (SPR) of CVL was 9.1% (95 % CI; 6.6 - 12.4). Out of 361 (94%) asymptomatic dogs, 31 (8.6%) were seropositive, and out of 23 (6%) symptomatic dogs, 4 (17.4%) were seropositive. 306 (79.7%) dogs were male and 78 (20.3%) were female. 28 (9.2%) male dogs and 7 (9%) female dogs were seropositive. There was no statistically significant relation between sex and seroprevalence (p = 0.962). The largest age group was 2 - 4 years, with 170 (44.3%) dogs out of which only 18 dogs (10.5%) were seropositive. Agreement between the ELISA test and clinical signs was 86.7%. A significant difference in the presence of antibodies against Leishmania was seen between symptomatic and asymptomatic dogs (p = 0.015) . ELISA was efficiently sensitive in the identification of infected dogs and seems to be an appropriate tool in rapid diagnostic screenings. ELISA is highly recommended to be applied as a standard test for routine CVL diagnosis.
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