Collar with insecticide may protect dogs against visceral leishmaniasis

Collar with insecticide may protect dogs against visceral leishmaniasis

In a new study published in the scientific journal Acta Tropica, researchers confirmed that a collar impregnated with an insecticide is capable of protecting dogs against visceral leishmaniasis. However, at the same time, it increases the chances of transmitting the disease to dogs that are nearby.

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This disease is transmitted by the bite of the Lutzomyia longipalpis mosquito (known as the straw mosquito), and the dog is usually the main target. In humans, symptoms involve long-lasting fever, enlarged liver and spleen, loss of weight and muscle strength, weakness and anemia. The warning is that the condition can even cause death if treatment is not carried out.

For the study, the authors followed 2,228 collared and non-collared dogs. Basically, the idea was to understand whether collars could equally protect dogs from different areas and what would happen to dogs that were not collared and lived near those areas.

The article mentions that the incidence of the disease was low in the group of collared dogs: 1.40%. In the group of neighboring dogs (not collared) the rate was high, 6.02%. Under normal conditions, this incidence should be around 3.78%, which means that protection at the same time increases the chances of infection in nearby dogs that are not wearing the collar.

The researchers further state that the effectiveness of protection was more notable in low-income areas (76%) compared to high-income areas (45%). In practice, the collars were impregnated with deltamethrin, a substance with an insecticide and repellent effect.

The next steps involve reducing this initial disadvantage for nearby uncollared dogs. The estimate is to put an end to this as the canine transmission control strategy includes the continuous and massive use of collars. As the authors of the article suggest, the use of the collar can be implemented and thought of as public policy in Brazil.

Source: Acta Tropica via FAPESP Agency