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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8016186, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8016186
Research Article

Immunopathological Features of Canine Myocarditis Associated with Leishmania infantum Infection

1Unit of Pathology, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy
2Department of Pathological Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warmia and Mazury University in Olsztyn, 10-701 Olsztyn, Poland
3Unit of Internal Medicine, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy
4Unit of Parasitology, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, 80137 Naples, Italy

Received 8 January 2016; Revised 18 May 2016; Accepted 23 May 2016

Academic Editor: Francesca Mancianti

Copyright © 2016 Alessandro Costagliola et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Myocarditis associated with infectious diseases may occur in dogs, including those caused by the protozoa Neospora caninum, Trypanosoma cruzi, Babesia canis, and Hepatozoon canis. However, although cardiac disease due to Leishmania infection has also been documented, the immunopathological features of myocarditis have not been reported so far. The aim of this study was to examine the types of cellular infiltrates and expression of MHC classes I and II in myocardial samples obtained at necropsy from 15 dogs with an established intravitam diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis. Pathological features of myocardium were characterized by hyaline degeneration of cardiomyocytes, necrosis, and infiltration of mononuclear inflammatory cells consisting of lymphocytes and macrophages, sometimes with perivascular pattern; fibrosis was also present in various degrees. Immunophenotyping of inflammatory cells was performed by immunohistochemistry on cryostat sections obtained from the heart of the infected dogs. The predominant leukocyte population was CD8+ with a fewer number of CD4+ cells. Many cardiomyocytes expressed MHC classes I and II on the sarcolemma. Leishmania amastigote forms were not detected within macrophages or any other cell of the examined samples. Our study provided evidence that myocarditis in canine visceral leishmaniasis might be related to immunological alterations associated with Leishmania infection.