Novel Areas for Prevention and Control of Canine Leishmaniosis

Guadalupe Miró, Christine Petersen*, Luís Cardoso, Patrick Bourdeau, Gad Baneth, Laia Solano-Gallego, Maria Grazia Pennisi, Lluís Ferrer, Gaetano Oliva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


There have been multiple recent advances regarding tools for the control and prevention of canine leishmaniosis (CanL), including new preventative vaccines. In this review, these advances are evaluated based on control targets, including vector and parasite. Leishvet recommendations are provided for control practices based on the dog's risk of infection. New topical insecticide formulations have proven to be effective in preventing sand fly bites, and subsequently infection. Parasite control occurs through chemotherapeutic or immunologic means, which decrease or prevent transmission to other animals, including humans. Leishmaniosis control programs that include a combination of coordinated measures, either in individuals or for prevention across reservoir populations, are required. Recent advances in canine leishmaniosis (CanL) prevention. The main way to avoid Leishmania infection is to use topical insecticides with proven activity against the bite of the female sand fly. Higher permethrin concentrations had a longer duration of effect. Owner compliance is critical for correct product application. The combined use of second-line human leishmanicidal agents (e.g., pentavalent antimonials, miltefosine) and allopurinol is currently the first-line treatment for CanL. Xenodiagnosis studies indicated that anti-Leishmania drugs reduced or completely abolished infectiousness of treated dogs for at least 4 months. There is no justification for mandated euthanasia of infected and/or sick dogs. Recent studies have proven both sexual transmission from sire to dam and vertical transmission to puppies. Any dog to be bred should be tested with an accurate quantitative serological test prior to breeding. Test-positive dogs should not be bred. Travelling, rehoming, sale, transfer of infected dogs or reproductive materials for breeding should not be imported into nonendemic areas. Protective and effective vaccines against canine leishmaniosis constitute a newer, essential, tool for preventing CanL. Vaccination does not prevent the establishment of infection and may allow maintenance of an infected but clinically healthy status in some dogs. The decision to vaccinate should be based upon the following: individual benefit/risk to the dog, age, breed, life-style or use, habitat, reproductive status, and owner compliance.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)718-730
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Parasitology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Leishmania infantum
  • control
  • dog
  • prevention
  • vaccine
  • vector
  • zoonotic


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