First surveys to investigate the presence of canine leishmaniasis and its phlebotomine vectors in Hungary

Róbert Farkas, Balázs Tánczos, Gioia Bongiorno, Michele Maroli, Jacques Dereure, Paul D. Ready

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


Hungary is regarded as free of leishmaniasis because only a few imported cases have been reported. However, southern Hungary has a sub-Mediterranean climate, and so it was included in the EU FP6 EDEN project, which aimed to map the northern limits of canine leishmaniasis (CanL) in Europe. The numbers of traveling and imported dogs have increased in the last decade, raising concerns about the introduction of CanL caused by Leishmania infantum. Serum samples were collected from 725 dogs (22 localities, 6 counties) that had never traveled to endemic countries, as well as from other potential reservoir hosts (185 red foxes and 13 golden jackals). All sera were tested by the indirect fluorescent antibody test, but they were sero-negative using the OIE cut-off of 1:80 serum dilution except for those of two dogs resident since birth in southern Hungary. These had not received a blood transfusion, but the mode of transmission is unclear because no sandfly vectors were caught locally. From 2006 to 2009, phlebotomine sandflies were sampled in the summer months at 47 localities of 8 counties. They were trapped with castor-oil-impregnated sticky-paper, light, and CO2-baited traps. Small numbers of two vectors of Leishmania infantum were found. Phlebotomus neglectus occurred in three villages near to Croatia and one in north Hungary at latitude 47N, and Phlebotomus perfiliewi perfiliewi was trapped at two sites in a southeastern county close to the sites where it was first found in 1931-1932. Our report provides baseline data for future investigations into the northward spread of CanL into Hungary, which we conclude has yet to occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-834
Number of pages12
JournalVector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2011



  • Canine leishmaniasis
  • Eco-epidemiological surveys
  • Hungary
  • IFAT
  • Leishmania infantum
  • Phlebotomus
  • Sandfly vectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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