E-ISSN 2146-3077
Original Article
Gerbils, As Experimental Animals (Meriones unguiculatus): Is A Good Role Model for Leishmania major?
1 Adnan Menderes Üniversitesi Veteriner Tıp Fakültesi, Parazitoloji Anabilim Dalı, Aydın, Türkiye  
2 Celal Bayar Üniversitesi, Parazitoloji Anabilim Dalı, Manisa, Türkiye  
Turkiye Parazitol Derg 2015; 39: 212-217
DOI: 10.5152/tpd.2015.4300
Key Words: Leishmania major, gerbil, experimental infection

Objective: This study aimed to observation the possible visceralization tendency and dissemination of L. major amastigotes in gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) using a classic smear technique, inoculated into enriched Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle (NNN) culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for diagnosis of infection.


Methods: In this study, L. major isolated from a man who 18 years old, living in Bitlis province of Turkey. This strain also was utilized to infect gerbils. A total of 1×108/mL promastigotes were inoculated to 10 gerbils. Necropsy was performed on infected gerbils for monitoring the visceralization tendency of the parasites. Tissue samples were prepared from each animal and stained by Giemsa and inoculated into NNN culture. However, a real-time PCR assay was performed to confirm the infection the clinical material.


Results: Examination of Giemsa-stained tissue smears showed that infected animals with L.major were positive for Leishmania amastigotes in all tissues at the first month post infection and Leishmania promastigotes were cultured at 26°C in culture flasks containing NNN. Melting curve analyses of ribozomal internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1) PCR showed the peak concordant with L. major.


Conclusion: As a result, the present study confirmed by both Giemsa-stained smears and PCR, visceralization and dissemination of L. major amastigotes, the principal cause of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis in gerbils. 

Key Words
Reviewer's Corner
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