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Venereal transmission of leishmaniasis?
Leishmaniasis is thought not to be transmitted by direct contact from dog to dog. But there might be a way of transmission that requires further evaluation, as this interesting brandnew study from Brazil demonstrates!

Although visceral leishmaniasis is primarily transmitted by a biological invertebrate vector, transmission in the absence of the vector has been reported, including venereal transmission in humans. Considering the possibility of venereal transmission, we studied genital lesions in dogs naturally infected with visceral leishmaniasis and shedding of Leishmania sp. in the semen.

Approximately 200 dogs were serologically tested for anti-Leishmania antibodies and divided into three groups: 1) serologically negative dogs (n = 20), 2) asymptomatic serologically positive dogs (n = 20), and 3) symptomatic serologically positive dogs (n = 20).

Samples from both testes, all segments of both epididymes, prostate gland, glans penis, and prepuce were histologically evaluated and processed for immunodetection of Leishmania sp. Semen samples were obtained from 22 symptomatic serologically positive dogs and processed for detecting Leishmania DNA by polymerase chain reaction.

A significantly higher frequency of inflammation was observed in the epididymes, glans penis, and prepuce of dogs with visceral leishmaniasis, which was associated with a high frequency of immunohistochemically positive tissues (up to 95% of tissues from symptomatic dogs were positive by immunohistochemistry).

Leishmania DNA was detected in eight of 22 semen samples from symptomatic dogs. Together these findings indicate that genital lesions and shedding of Leishmania sp. (donovani complex) in the semen are associated with visceral leishmaniasis.

Additional studies should address the possibility of venereal transmission of the disease in the dog.

Source: S. A. Diniz, M. S. Melo, A. M. Borges, R. Bueno, B. P. Reis, W. L. Tafuri, E. F. Nascimento and R. L. Santos (2005): Genital Lesions Associated with Visceral Leishmaniasis and Shedding of Leishmania sp. in the Semen of Naturally Infected Dogs. In: Vet Pathol 42:650-658 (2005)




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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

Electroretinography as a prognostic indicator after retinal reattachment surgery
Retinal detachment is one of the ophthalmological emergencies, and even if the diagnosis is made early and a reattachment surgery is performed immediately many dogs do not regain postoperative vision. This 18‐month prospective study recorded signalment, duration, cause, and extent of retinal detachment and pre‐operative vision status. Rod and mixed rod‐cone ERG responses were recorded prior to RRS. Referring veterinary ophthalmologists assessed vision 2 months postoperatively to determine whether pre‐operative electroretinography (ERG) predicts postoperative vision in dogs undergoing retinal reattachment surgery (RRS).

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