Previously considered an exotic disease, canine leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum has recently been detected within the foxhound population in the United States and parts of Canada. Leishmania infantum is the etiologic agent of visceral leishmaniasis in many areas of the world and dogs are considered a major reservoir host for human Leishmania infections. Human visceral leishmaniasis has recently emerged as an opportunistic infection among individuals co-infected with HIV/AIDS and in persons taking immunosuppressive drugs. We report the isolation of L. infantum from 3 naturally infected foxhounds from Virginia by culture of popliteal lymph node and bone marrow, and the development of an immunohistochemical test to detect the parasite in tissues.
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Vol. 50 • No. 6