Leishmaniasis is the name given to different forms of a certain disease that differ greatly in their seriousness and health effects. The disease is caused by protozoan parasites.
Leishmaniasis is transmitted when female phlebotomine sandflies ingest amastigotes (intracellular forms of the protozoan parasite) during blood meals on infected animals.
Two main types of leishmaniasis are present in Spain. They may be classified according to their clinical signs as visceral leishmaniasis and cutaneous leishmaniasis. Both coincide in that:
Visceral leishmaniasis, also known as Kala-azar, is an endemic disease that tends to be chronic and especially afflicts children. In the last few years it has frequently infected people with AIDS and people receiving immunosuppressant drugs (cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, etc.).
In dogs, the incubation period may last months or even years. Signs of infection vary depending on the type of leishmaniasis (cutaneous, mucocutaneous or visceral), and generally include weight loss, hair loss, onychogryphosis (claw nails), enlarged lymph nodes, enlarged spleen or liver, etc.
Don’t miss our video on the veterinary profession
Information for the public
Watch our videos here
The Veterinary Channel
Colegio Oficial de Veterinarios de Alicante
Mendez Nuñez, 38 · 03002 Alicante
Tel.: 96 521 41 11 · correo electrónico