Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23758819
BMC Res Notes 2013;6:226
BACKGROUND: Visceral leishmaniasis is a disease with great variability regarding the clinical manifestations in humans and dogs. Chronically infected dogs may develop neurological disorders, however, there are few reports that characterize the lesions and make clear the pathogenesis of the canine cerebral leishmaniasis. Concomitant with Leishmania chagasi, dogs may be infected by opportunistic pathogens, such as Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum, which may contribute to the occurrence of lesions in the central nervous system. Hence, we aimed to compare the T and B lymphocytes population in the brains of infected dogs with seropositivity to L. chagasi, T. gondii and N. caninum concurrently (n = 24), seropositivity only to L. chagasi (n = 31), and seropositivity to T. gondii and N. caninum (n = 16). Uninfected dogs were used as control (n = 10).
RESULTS: Inflammatory lesions, characterised by mononuclear cell accumulation, composed mainly of CD3+ T lymphocytes predominated in several encephalic regions of the dogs from all the three infected groups, with no difference among them (P = 0.0004), whereas CD79α+ B lymphocytes were detected in very small intensity and presented no difference among groups (P = 0.5313). Furthermore, no association among diseases was detected at the serological enquire.
CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrate that the peripheral infection by L. chagasi per se can promote the influx of lymphocytes within the nervous milieu as occurs during Toxoplasma and Neospora infections, and the concomitant seropositivity against these pathogens does not exacerbate the inflammatory brain lesions. Therefore, these findings give additional support that the brain should be included in the list of organs affected by visceral leishmaniasis and that even asymptomatic infected dogs may develop brain lesions.