Med. Weter. 77

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AYUSO-SÁINZ J.J., BELINCHÓN-LORENZO S., FERNÁNDEZ-COTRINA J., JIMÉNEZ M., ORDUÑA-DOMINGO A., QUINTO E.J.
Detection of Leishmania infantum kinetoplast DNA by Real Time PCR in hair of wild rabbits
The study of potential wild mammal reservoirs is necessary for the surveillance of leishmaniosis, as Leishmania protozoans have been isolated from a wide range of wild and domestic animal species, including Leporidae. Recently, it has been demonstrated that both hares and wild rabbits can act as sylvatic reservoirs of Leishmania. In Spain, most of the research involving wild rabbits has been developed in the central area of Madrid and in the southeastern Mediterranean coast. We studied the presence of Leishmania infantum in 116 wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) captured in Santovenia de Pisuerga, Valladolid, Spain. Hair samples were analyzed by real time PCR. L. infantum kinetoplast DNA (kDNA) was detected and quantified in 4 out of 116 analyzed animals. The estimated number of parasites obtained were quite variable, ranging from 2.60 to 276.60. Hair samples can be collected by non-invasive methods, being a proper sample for Leishmania detection in wild Leporidae, which have an important role as reservoirs of Leishmania. Our findings enhance the need for more extensive studies in different geographical areas.
Key words: Hair, Leishmania infantum, rabbit, kDNA, Real Time PCR.