Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a zoonosis with worldwide distribution. Infections with the Leishmania donovani complex, including Leishmania infantum, cause the VL. Domestic dogs are the most important reservoir host for human VL, and wild canids are also susceptible. In the United States, infections with L. infantum are common in the foxhound dog breed. Little information is available regarding L. infantum in wild canids in the Unites States. Sera from 11 foxes and 256 coyotes originating in Pennsylvania and Tennessee (USA) were tested for antibodies to visceralizing Leishmania spp. with rapid immunochromatographic dipstick assays, which utilize recombinant antigen K39. Anti-Leishmania spp. antibodies were found in 5 of 267 (1.9%) of wild canids from Pennsylvania, including four coyotes and one red fox. These results suggest that wild canids are exposed to Leishmania spp. at a low level in the United States.
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