Leishmania amastigotes in the central nervous system of a naturally infected dog

Merce Márquez*, José Raúl Pedregosa, Jesús López, Paola Marco-Salazar, Dolors Fondevila, Martí Pumarola

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


A 4-year-old male Labrador Retriever dog was presented with a 10-day history of tetraplegia, depression, and absent postural reflexes. The cerebrospinal fluid was positive for Leishmania spp. DNA. At necropsy, a 2-cm long mass was observed adhered to C7 and C8 left spinal nerves. Microscopically, nerve fiber destruction together with mixed inflammatory infiltration was observed in the spinal nerves. Cervical spinal cord sections showed multifocal, diffuse granulomatous inflammation in the white matter. In the brain, perivascular infiltrates were observed in some areas together with subtle pallor of the parenchyma. Immunohistochemistry for Leishmania infantum confirmed the presence of amastigotes in the spinal nerves, spinal cord, brain parenchyma, and choroid plexuses. The current study describes the presence of Leishmania amastigotes in nervous tissue inciting radiculoneuritis, myelitis, and mild meningoencephalitis, suggesting a likely route by which L. infantum amastigotes reach and affect the central nervous system parenchyma.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Brain
  • dogs
  • encephalitis
  • Leishmania
  • myelitis
  • nerve
  • radiculoneuritis

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