TLR-2 and TLR-4 transcriptions in unstimulated blood from dogs with leishmaniosis due to Leishmania infantum at the time of diagnosis and during follow-up treatment

Sara Montserrat-Sangrà, Lorena Alborch, Laura Ordeix, Laia Solano-Gallego

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18 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Innate immunity, in particular, the role of toll-like receptors (TLRs), has not been extensively studied in canine L. infantum infection. The main aim of this study was to determine the transcription of TLR2 and TLR4 in the blood of dogs with natural clinical leishmaniosis at the time of diagnosis and during treatment follow-up and subsequently correlate these findings with clinical, serological and parasitological data. Forty-six Leishmania-seropositive sick dogs with a high antibody level at the time of diagnosis were studied and compared with 34 healthy seronegative dogs. Twenty-two of these sick dogs were treated with meglumine antimoniate and allopurinol and followed-up at 30, 180 and 365 days following the start of treatment. Clinical status was defined by a thorough physical examination, complete blood count, biochemistry profile, electrophoresis of serum proteins, and urinary protein/creatinine ratio (UPC). EDTA blood was stored in RNAlater® solution before RNA extraction and cDNA production were performed. TLR2, TLR4 and three reference genes (HPRT-1, CG14980 and SDHA) were studied in each blood sample by real time PCR. The relative quantification of TLR2 was higher (mean 3.5) in sick dogs when compared with seronegative healthy dogs (mean 1.3; P = 0.0001) while the relative quantification of TLR4 was similar in both groups. In addition, the relative quantification of TLR2 significantly decreased during follow-up at all time points compared with day 0 whereas no changes were observed with TLR4 transcription. A significant positive correlation was noted between TLR2 and UPC, total protein, beta and gamma globulins, specific L. infantum antibodies and blood parasite load while a negative correlation was observed with albumin, albumin/globulin ratio, hematocrit and hemoglobin. TLR4 transcript did not correlate with any parameter. These findings indicate an up-regulation of TLR2 transcription in unstimulated blood in naturally infected sick dogs as compared to healthy dogs suggesting active innate immune and proinflammatory responses. In addition, TLR2 transcription is reduced with clinical improvement during treatment. In contrast, TLR4 transcription appears to be similar among groups at the time of diagnosis with no changes during treatment follow-up suggesting a less important role for this TLR in clinical canine leishmaniosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-179
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2016


  • Blood
  • Canine leishmaniosis
  • TLR2
  • TLR4
  • Treatment and Follow-up


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