Canine Leishmania infections are due to a widely distributed species, Leishmania Infantum. However, in the new world and in the old world, other zoonotic species of Leishmania may infect dogs.

The information in these guidelines is related to infection and disease due to L. infantum.

Leishmania infantum infection is typically transmitted by a specific group of phlebotomine vectors (sand flies) which represent the main risk of transmission.

However, non vectorial modalities have also been demonstrated (venereal, vertical, dog to dog, blood transfusion.)

Leishmania infantum amastigotes in a canine macrophage (© Torsten Naucke)