Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
FERNANDEZ M, JOSÉ et al. Prevalence of canine visceral leishmaniasis in municipalities of Huila, Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2002, vol.4, n.3, pp. 278-285. ISSN 0124-0064.
With the purpose of establishing the prevalence of canine leishmaniasis a descriptive study was carried out in 17 villages of the municipalities of Neiva, Tello and Algeciras, in the department of Huila, Colombia. The selected canine population was composed of 307 dogs, which were submitted to clinical examination, stained smears of lymph node needle aspiration, and bleeding for serological analysis by the Immunofluorescent Antibody Tests (IFAT). The canine population was conformed by mestizo dogs, with a 3 year age average; 30,6 % were females. Upon physical examination loss of weight was observed in 31% of dogs; lynfadenopathy of the popliteal node in 3,2 %; alopecia in 21,8 %, eritematous lesions in 11,5 % and skin ulcers in 3,3 %. 17,2 % of the dogs has a positive serology and in 1.43% of them, amastigotes were observed in the smears of lymph node aspirates. These prevalence of anti-L. chagasi antibodies is relatively high compared with other studies in Colombia and in other countries. The present study, confirms the endemic nature of the illness in the area, high lighting the need for strengthening public health surveillance and active search for human cases.
Keywords : Leishmania; Leishmaniasis; visceral; epidemiology.