Impact of canine control on the epidemiology of canine and human visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.

C B Palatnik-de-SousaDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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W R dos SantosDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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J C França-SilvaDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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R T da CostaDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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A B ReisDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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M PalatnikDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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W MayrinkDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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O GenaroDepartment of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology Professor Paulo de Góes, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Brazil is the only country endemic for zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (ZVL) that regularly conducts epidemiologic and prophylactic control programs that involve the treatment of human cases, insect vector control, and the removal of seropositive infected dogs. This report reviews 60 studies reporting data on the efficacy of these recommended control tools and concludes that in Brazil 1) eradication of the disease in Minas Gerais was achieved by the concomitant use of the three control methods, 2) although seropositivity by an immunofluorescent assay is not completely related to infectiousness, the removal of seropositive dogs leads to a significant reduction of canine and human incidence, 3) improvement of the sensitivity of the diagnostic tool used for canine control should optimize the efficacy of control, and 4) although difficult and expensive, the public health dog control campaigns performed in Brazil reduced the incidence of ZVL and should be maintained since treatment of dogs is an unrealistic intervention, both because of its prohibitive cost and relatively poor effectiveness.

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