VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS IS ENDEMIC IN GOLDEN JACKALS OF BANGLADESH AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY CAMPUS, A THREAT FOR EXPANDING FUTURE ZOONOTIC VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS
Keywords:Golden jackals, Visceral leishmaniasis, Giemsas staining, PCR
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL), now a day, is an endemic protozoal disease of human in Bangladesh. The disease is transmissible to canids and endemic in canids in many parts of the world including western China and India. In Bangladesh, the occurrence of VL in canids is unknown. Golden jackals, a common wild canid of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) Campus, living with street dogs, cats and often get closure to human shelter. It is not surprising to find VL in golden Jackals of BAU campus, Mymensingh and this study was, therefore, aimed to identify the occurrence of leishmanial infection in their visceral organs. Venous blood, liver, kidney, spleen and bone marrow from the jackals (N=5) were collected, impression smears from these organs were made onto clean slides and stained with Giemsas stain. Leishmanial pro - and amastigote stages of the parasite were detected in the impression smears made from liver, spleen, kidney and bone marrow in all jackals. Leishmanial amastigote stage of the parasite was seen in the macrophages of blood, spleen and liver. Part of liver, kidney, spleen and bone marrow from the jackal were fixed in 10% buffered neutral formalin and stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Histopathological study revealed scatteredly distributed microgranuloma in the hepatic parenchyma, consisting of closely packed collection of macrophages and lymphocytes with fibrous tissue encapsulation. In kidney, chronic glomerulonephritis was seen; the inflamed areas were infiltrated with lymphocytes and macrophages. Specific pathology in spleen and bone marrow was not observed. Genomic DNA was extracted from the liver, kidney, spleen and bone marrow of jackals. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with species specific primers were used to identify the species of leishmanial protozoa involved. Results of PCR showed 145bp amplicon, specific for Leishmania donovani infection in all five jackals. This is the first report in Bangladesh describing the occurrence of VL in golden jackals. This result reinforce the assumption that golden jackals of BAU campus harbour leishmanial protozoa, could serve as a symptomless carrier and transmit the infection to other canids and human, require further investigation.