A cross-sectional serosurvey using Leishmania infantum ELISA was performed on 445 cats living in ecoregions around the Northwestern Mediterranean basin; 58 cats from an area of the US where leishmaniasis is not endemic were used as negative controls. ELISA results were further confirmed in 69 cats by Western blot (WB). Finally, 76 of them were also tested for FeLV and FIV. Seroprevalence by ELISA-prot A was 6.29%, and that by ELISA-IgG was 5.25%. Positive cat sera recognized patterns of polypeptides in WB, including L. infantum-specific antigenic fractions. There was no association with retroviruses. Leishmania-specific antibodies are prevalent in cats living in ecoregions around the Northwestern Mediterranean basin; thus, leishmaniasis must be included in the differential diagnosis of diseases in cats living in these ecoregions. Their role as peridomestic reservoirs for L. infantum needs further characterization, but it could be hypothesized that the cat is a secondary reservoir host, rather than an accidental one. Copyright © 2007 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
|Journal||American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2007|