Susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis in the domestic dog is associated with MHC class II polymorphism

Rupert J. Quinnell, Lorna J. Kennedy, Annette Barnes, Orin Courtenay, Christopher Dye, Lourdes M. Garcez, Marie Anne Shaw, Stuart D. Carter, Wendy Thomson, William E R Ollier

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a disease of dogs, humans and other animals caused by the intracellular macrophage parasite Leishmania infantum. We examined the relationship between DLA class II alleles (DRB1, DQA1, DQB1) and the course of infection in a cohort of Brazilian mongrel dogs exposed to natural L. infantum infection. DLA alleles were typed by sequence-based typing. DLA-DRB1 genotype was significantly associated with levels of anti-Leishmania IgG and parasite status assessed by PCR. Dogs with DLA-DRB1*01502 had higher levels of specific IgG and an increased risk of being parasite positive compared with dogs without this allele, controlling for other alleles and significant variables. No significant associations were seen for DLA-DQA1 or DLA-DQB1 alleles. These results suggest that the DLA-DRB1 locus plays a role in determining susceptibility to canine VL. As the domestic dog is the main reservoir for human infection, the identification of genetic factors influencing canine resistance or susceptibility to VL may provide insights into the immunology and potential control through vaccination of VL.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-28
    Number of pages5
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2003


    • DLA
    • Domestic dog
    • Leishmania infantum
    • MHC class II
    • Visceral leishmaniasis


    Dive into the research topics of 'Susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis in the domestic dog is associated with MHC class II polymorphism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this