• Article

Domestic dog ownership A risk factor for human infection with Leishmania (Viannia) species

An epidemiological study has shown that cumulative, village prevalence of Leishmania (Viannia) infection in dogs ranges from 8% to 45% in Huánuco, Peru. Using data from a prospective survey of human American cutaneous leishmaniasis (ACL) collected during 1994-98, it was shown that the village-level risk of human ACL did not significantly increase with dog abundance, neither in absolute terms (P = 0.659) nor in relation to dog:human ratios (P = 0.213). A significant positive association was observed between risk of human ACL and village dog ACL prevalence (P = 0.022). When controlled for village dog ACL prevalence, there also was an association between the average number of dogs per household and risk of human ACL (P = 0.033). The results suggest that dogs play a role in the (peri)domestic transmission of Le. (Viannia) to humans in Huánuco and indicate that a control intervention targeting dogs to control human ACL is warranted.


Reithinger, R., Canales Espinoza, J., Llanos-Cuentas, A., & Davies, C. R. (2003). Domestic dog ownership: A risk factor for human infection with Leishmania (Viannia) species. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 97(2), 141-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0035-9203(03)90101-5