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Leishmania major infection among Psammomys obesus and Meriones shawi: reservoirs of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Sidi Bouzid(central Tunisia).

Abstract : A study was undertaken between November 2008 and March 2010, in the focus of cutaneous leishmaniasis of Central Tunisia, to evaluate the role of Psammomys obesus (n=472) and Meriones shawi (n=167) as reservoir hosts for Leishmania major infection. Prevalence of L. major infection was 7% versus 5% for culture (p=not signifiant [NS]), 19% versus 16% for direct examination of smears (p=NS), and 20% versus 33% (p=NS) for Indirect Fluorescent Antibody Test among P. obesus and M. shawi, respectively. The peak of this infection was in winter and autumn and increased steadily with age for the both species of rodents. The clinical examination showed that depilation, hyper-pigmentation, ignition, and severe edema of the higher edge of the ears were the most frequent signs observed in the study sample (all signs combined: 47% for P. obesus versus 43% for M. shawi; p=NS). However, the lesions were bilateral and seem to be more destructive among M. shawi compared with P. obesus. Asymptomatic infection was ~40% for both rodents. This study demonstrated that M. shawi plays an important role in the transmission and the emergence of Leishmania major cutaneous leishmaniasis in Tunisia.
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Wissem Ghawar, Amine Toumi, Mohamed-Ali Snoussi, Sadok Chlif, Amor Zâatour, et al.. Leishmania major infection among Psammomys obesus and Meriones shawi: reservoirs of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in Sidi Bouzid(central Tunisia).. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, Mary Ann Liebert, 2011, 11 (12), pp.1561-8. ⟨10.1089/vbz.2011.0712⟩. ⟨pasteur-00859432⟩

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