Mucocutaneous Leishmania tropica infection in a dog from a human cutaneous leishmaniasis focus

Gad Baneth*, Doni Zivotofsky, Yaarit Nachum-Biala, Daniel Yasur-Landau, Ana Maria Botero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Leishmania tropica is a causative agent of cutaneous leishmanaisis in the Middle East, North Africa and parts of southeastern Europe. Although transmission of L. tropica has been reported as anthroponotic, in Israel it was found to have a zoonotic pattern. Findings. A one year old male Pekingese dog from Maale Adumim, a focus of L. tropica human cutaneous leishmaniasis near Jerusalem, was presented by its owner with a large proliferative red mucocutaneous lesion on the lip between the mouth and nose. Physical examination and a biochemistry panel were normal and a complete blood count showed mild leukocytosis with lymphocytosis and eosinophilia. A biopsy of the lesion was suggestive of the presence of Leishmania organisms. Serology for Leishmania sp. by ELISA was positive and an aspirate from the lesion showed a large number of Leishmania amastigotes. ITS1-HRM-PCR of the lesion was positive and sequencing indicated that infection was caused by L. tropica, which was also cultured from the lesion. Blood PCR was negative. The dog responded well to allopurinol treatment and its lesion shrunk considerably within one month of therapy and healed after two months. Conclusions: Only a few cases of dog infection with L. tropica have been described to date. They were reported from Morocco and Iran and involved infection of visceral organs. This is the first report of focal mucocutaneous L. tropica infection in a dog and its response to anti-leishmanial treatment. Domestic and wild canines should be evaluated for being possible animal reservoirs for human L. tropica infection in endemic areas or merely accidental hosts.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number118
JournalParasites and Vectors
Issue number1
StatePublished - 24 Mar 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) as part of a German-Israeli-Palestinian cooperative project on the Emergence of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Middle East: ‘An investigation of Leishmania tropica in the Palestinian Authority and Israel’ (SCHO 448/8-1). Publication of the CVBD9 thematic series has been sponsored by Bayer HealthCare - Animal Health division.


  • Allopurinol
  • Dog
  • Israel
  • Leishmania tropica
  • Mucocutaneous leishmaniasis


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