The much awaited vaccine against often fatal ending disease of Canine Leishmaniasis or Kalazar in dogs is finally available in Greece. As January 16th 2011, the vaccine can be pbtained at vet clinics. The vaccine contains proteins of Cani Leish parasite that will produce antibodies in the immune system of our canine friends. The vaccine will be given to the animal in three doses in intervals of three weeks. The cost of each dose is around 50 euro.
Before the vaccination the dog has to undergo blood tests, to make sure the dog is negative to the parasite, that means he has not antibodies indicating previous infection to disease.
Canine leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease caused by Leishmania parasites transmitted by the bite of an infected phlebotomine sandfly. Canine leishmaniasis was first identified in Europe in 1903, and in 1940, 40% of all dogs in Rome were determined to be positive for leishmaniasis. Traditionally thought of as a disease only found near the Mediterranean basin, 2008 research claims new findings are evidence that canine leishmaniasis is currently expanding in continental climate areas of northwestern Italy, far from the recognized disease-endemic areas along the Mediterranean coasts.
Treatment: Currently, no cure exists for canine leishmaniasis, but various treatment options are available in different countries. Treatment is best coordinated with veterinary research hospitals. Treatment does vary by geographic area, strain of infection and exhibited symptoms. Dogs can be asymptomatic for years.
Prevention: In areas where the known vector is a sandfly, deltamethrin collars worn by the dogs has been proven to be 86% effective. The sandfly is most active at dusk and dawn; keeping dogs indoors during those peak times will help minimize exposure.
Unfortunately, there is no one answer for leishmaniasis prevention, nor will one vaccine cover multiple species and Leishmaniasis-strains. However, a vaccine against th fatal disease can increase a dogs’ chances to avoid infection.
(vaccine news source: news247.gr)