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ABSTRACT. Almeida V. dos A., da Hora T.N., Leça Júnior N.F., Carvalho F.S., da Silva A.L., Wenceslau A.A., Albuquerque G.R. & Silva F.L. Detection of Leishmania infantum DNA in hamsters infested with ticks collected from naturally infected dogs. [Detecção do DNA de Leishmania infantum em hamsters infestados com carrapatos coletados de cães naturalmente infectados.] Revista Brasileira de Medicina Veterinária, 38(4):329-333, 2016. Departamento de Ciências Agrárias e Ambientais, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Campus Soane Nazaré de Andrade, Hospital Veterinário, Km 16, Rodovia Jorge Amado, Ilhéus, BA 45662-900, Brasil. E-mail: email@example.com
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Rhipicephalus sanguineus, the brown dog tick, in the transmission of Leishmania infantum. To accomplish this, we used 24 adult golden hamsters of both genders, and divided them into two groups: a control group (n = 4) and an experimental group (n = 20). The animals from the experimental group were infested with ticks obtained from dogs naturally infected with L. infantum. Hamsters of the control group were not infested and were maintained at the same conditions, as the infested animals. After three months of observation, animals were euthanized and they were posted to obtain samples of their blood, spleen, liver, lymph nodes, and skin. These samples were then processed by histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Fourteen hamsters (70%) of the experimental group tested PCR-positive for L. infantum DNA in samples of buffy coat. The results of this study indicated that R. sanguineus ticks can transmit some forms or parts of L. infantum to parasitized hamsters.