Dissemination of visceral leishmaniasis to Western Argentina: When will imported canine vector-borne zoonotic diseases start being local?
Mera y Sierra, Roberto
Cargnelutti, Diego Esteban
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Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), caused by Leishmania infantum (syn. chagasi), is expanding at an alarming rate in Argentina. In Argentina, VL was first diagnosed in the Northeastern province of Misiones in May 2006,1 with previous reports recording this infection in the neighboring Paraguay much earlier. Since its first diagnosis in Argentina, thousands of cases in dogs and over 100 cases (many fatal) in humans have been diagnosed in several regions of the north and northeastern provinces of Argentina (Figure 1).2,3 The disease has traveled over 1000 km, and so has its vectors and main reservoir, the domestic dog. The vectors described for VL in Argentina, Lutzomyia longipalpis and Migonemya migonei, have also been detected in the provinces of Catamarca, Santa Fe´, and Co´rdoba, where to date no case of infections in humans or canines has been described. Dogs, whether expensive ones destined for breeding or those of migrant harvest workers, wander freely through the country, and thus facilitate easy transport of these parasites from one region to another; however, the intention to root out the paradigm exotic disease is still firmly attached in the minds and hearts of health professionals, from both human and veterinary fields.Fil: Mera y Sierra, Roberto. Universidad Juan Agustín Maza. Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Ambientales. Centro de Investigación en Parasitología Regional; Argentina.Fil: Neira, Gisela. Universidad Juan Agustín Maza. Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias y Ambientales. Centro de Investigación en Parasitología Regional; Argentina.Fil: Neira, Gisela. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina.Fil: Cargnelutti, Diego. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Instituto de Medicina y Biología Experimental de Cuyo; Argentina.