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EVALUATION OF LYMPH NODE AND BONE MARROW CYTOLOGY IN THE DIAGNOSIS OF CANINE LEISHMANIASIS (LEISHMANIA INFANTUM) IN SYMPTOMATIC AND ASYMPTOMATIC DOGS

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece; Laboratory of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Animal Health Economics, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece; Laboratory of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, Karditsa, Greece; Department of Veterinary Public Health, National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece

The sensitivity and specificity of lymph node and bone marrow smear microscopy for the diagnosis of Leishmania infantum–infected dogs was evaluated in 79 dogs with leishmaniasis (Group A), 52 asymptomatically infected dogs (Group B), and 44 healthy noninfected dogs (Group C). Light microscopy examination included 10 to 1,000 oil immersion fields, and the density of Leishmania amastigotes was scored by a 0 to +6 scale. Using polymerase chain reaction as the gold standard, the specificity of lymph node and bone marrow cytology was 100%, whereas sensitivity ranged from 7.8% to 92.6%, being significantly higher in Group A compared with Group B. The amastigote scores were also significantly higher in Group A compared with Group B. These results indicate that lymph node and bone marrow cytology is a highly sensitive and specific method for the diagnosis of canine patent leishmaniasis, whereas its sensitivity is relatively low in asymptomatic infections.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: Dr. Mathios E. Mylonakis, Clinic of Companion Animal Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotles University of Thessaloniki, 11 Stavrou Voutyra str., GR-54627, Thessaloniki, Greece, Telephone: 0030 231 0 994517, Fax: 0030 231 0 994516, E-mail: mmylon@vet.auth.gr.
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