Dogs in the U.S. are infected with L. infantum from birth and treatment options often come with adverse side effects. There is a critical need for alternative methods of leishmaniosis control. Our preliminary data shows a connection between tick-borne co-infections (tick-borne pathogens) and canine leishmaniosis severity. In recent years, the range of US tick habitats has expanded and the incidence of tickborne pathogens such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis has risen. The proposed work will determine the efficacy and applicability of using tick prevention to delay or prevent Leishmania disease progression in dogs. Our long-term goal is to use tick control combined with informed selective breeding, to eliminate leishmaniosis from U.S. dogs. Through a randomized, controlled, trial, we will study how progression of leishmaniosis in dogs who develop tick-borne co-infections differs in comparison with those who remain seronegative. Starting with a group of asymptomatic Leishmania-infected dogs, we will prevent tick-borne co-infections in one group of dogs using sarolaner, a recently developed, oral, acaricide. Dogs will be randomized to either receive sarolaner or placebo. All dogs will continue to receive their current (limited and ineffectual) tick control as provided by the kennel at present.
Pioneering Leishmania Research Among Naturally Infected Canids Within The U.S.