The southern habitats of Croatia's gray wolf (Canis lupus) population are found in central and southern parts of Dalmatia. This region is recognized as an endemic region for canine visceral leishmaniosis, caused by Leishmania infantum. In November 2003, a 4-yr-old male gray wolf was found dead in the northwestern border of this endemic region. Pathologic and parasitologic analysis, confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, indicated that lesions associated with infection by Leishmania infantum are, in this case, typical for visceral leshmaniosis commonly described in dogs. Review of the literature suggests that this is the first reported case of gray wolf death due to lesions caused by L. infantum.
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Vol. 44 • No. 2