Leishmaniasis is an insect-transmitted parasitic disease with a worldwide distribution. Leishmania spp. infections cause a broad spectrum of clinical signs, ranging from skin lesions to fatal visceral disease. Dogs are a major reservoir host for visceral leishmaniasis in humans. While the disease is endemic in the Middle East and North Africa, little is known concerning canine Leishmania spp. infections in Egypt. Accordingly, blood samples were collected from 50 stray dogs in Giza, Egypt. Canine sera were tested for antibodies to visceralizing Leishmania spp. by commercial immunochromatographic strip assays based on recombinant antigen K39. Antibodies to Leishmania spp. were found in 5 of 50 (10%) of dogs tested from Egypt. Results from this study indicate that stray dogs are exposed to visceralizing Leishmania species in Egypt.
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Vol. 99 • No. 1