Infection with Leishmania infantum causes the disease visceral leishmaniasis (VL), which is a serious clinical and veterinary problem. The drugs used to treat canine leishmaniasis (CanL) do not cause complete parasite clearance; they can be toxic, and emerging drug resistance in parasite populations limits their clinical utility. Therefore, in this study we have evaluated the toxicity and efficacy of joint treatment with a 1:1 mixture of sodium stibogluconate-NIV (SSG-NIV, 10 mg Sb v/day) and paromomycin-NIV (PMM-NIV, 10 mg PMM/kg/day), given intravenously daily for seven days from day 270 post-infection, to nine-month-old female beagle dogs (n = 6) experimentally infected with Leishmania infantum. Treatment significantly improved the clinical symptoms of VL infection in all the treated dogs, reduced parasite burdens in lymph nodes and bone marrow, and all symptomatic treated dogs, were asymptomatic at 90 days post-treatment. Treatment was associated with a progressive and significant decrease in specific IgG anti-Leishmania antibodies using parasite soluble antigen (p < 0.01) or rK39 (p < 0.01) as the target antigen. In addition, all dogs were classified as parasite negative based on Leishmania nested PCR and quantitative real time PCR tests and as well as an inability to culture of promastigote parasites from lymph nodes and bone marrow tissue samples taken at day 90 post-treatment. However, treatment did not cure the dogs as parasites were detected at 10 months post-treatment, indicating that a different dosing regimen is required to cause long term cure or prevent relapse.
- Leishmania infantum
- Canine leishmaniasis
- sodium stibogluconate
- non-ionic surfactant vesicles formulations