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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 541571, 7 pages
Review Article

Cytokine and Phenotypic Cell Profiles of Leishmania infantum Infection in the Dog

1Unidade de Parasitologia Médica, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (IHMT), Universidade Nova de Lisboa (UNL), Rua da Junqueira 100, 1349-008 Lisboa, Portugal
2Centro Malaria e Doenças Tropicais, IHMT/UNL, Rua da Junqueira 100, 1349-008 Lisboa, Portugal
3Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Sciences, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
4Departamento de Ciências Biomédicas e Medicina, Universidade do Algarve, Campus Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro, Portugal

Received 26 March 2011; Revised 5 June 2011; Accepted 20 June 2011

Academic Editor: Jose M. Requena

Copyright © 2012 Carla Maia and Lenea Campino. 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.


Leishmaniasis has reemerged in recent years showing a wider geographic distribution and increased global incidence of human and canine disease than previously known. Dogs are the main domestic/peridomestic reservoir hosts of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania infantum. Since the evolution of leishmaniasis and clinical appearance is a consequence of complex interactions between the parasite and host immune response, a profound knowledge about the immune profile developed in dog's infection is crucial for vaccine and immunomodulatory therapy design. The main goal of this paper is to compile the recent advances made on cytokine and phenotypic cell profiles in different tissues and organs of dogs infected with L. infantum. This paper also stressed that the knowledge of the immune responses developed, namely, in liver, lymph node, and spleen is very limited. All data emphasizes that more research on canine leishmaniasis is necessary for the development of new and efficacious tools to control zoonotic leishmaniasis.