Canine leishmaniasis surveillance program in a San Marino Republic kennel.
The Republic of San Marino is an autonomous State that, in view of its geographical and environmental features, can be considered a part of the Northern Italian territory, where the canine leishmaniasis (CanL) is endemic. In the past, a CanL focus in the Republic's kennel was described. As a consequence of this epidemiological situation, a surveillance program was carried-out covering a 6-year period (2006-2012). A total of 1,094 sera were collected from 420 kennel dogs and examined for antibodies to Leishmania infantum by the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). Eighty-eight (21%) dogs resulted IFAT positive (antibody titre ≥1/40). The overall seroprevalence increased in the first 4 years (2006-2010), going from 5.5% to 26.8% and then decreased in the 2 following years going to 17.9% (2011) and 3.9% (2012). The cumulative incidence constantly increased from 0.6% to 2.6%. This trend could be attributed to a changed infection pressure due to the dog turnover in the kennels. According to the observed incidence values, the CanL focus seems to be stable, supported by autochthonous transmission, new case introduction and Leishmania spp. circulation in owned dogs in the same area.