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Canine Leishmaniasis (CanL); a public health threat in Ghana


MOJ Biology and Medicine
Abdul Razak Mohammed Raji  

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Abstract

Canine Leishmaniasis (CanL) is a protozoal disease caused by Leishmania species and transmitted by the female phlebotomine sand fly (which serves as a vector for the parasite) among animals and humans. The disease is of great importance to public health, due to its zoonotic nature, and the role of dogs as the natural reservoir of the disease. An important factor that helps in the continuous perpetuation of the parasite and for that matter the disease is the ability of the infective form of the parasite (metacyclic promastigote) to transform into amastigote in the host cells, and outsmart the host’s immune mechanism. These phenomena among other factors, poses a great risk of spreading the disease to susceptible hosts (humans and animals). Three forms of the disease have been identified, namely; visceral (VL), cutaneous (CL) and mucocutaneous (MCL). Leishmaniasis control has been categorized into direct method, targeted at infectious dogs and indirect method, targeted at the vector. In conclusion, human cutaneous leishmaniasis (HCL) is endemic in certain areas of the country, however, there is no data on cases of canine leishmaniasis in the country. It is recommended that, in discussing strategies to curb human leishmaniasis, stake-holders should factor in the role of dogs and for that reason, canine leishmaniasis (CanL).

Keywords

humans, animals, canine leishmaniasis, species

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