Leishmania

Leishmania

Aspirate from the spleen of a 9-year-old female Miniature Schnauzer. The presenting complaint was intermittent hematochezia. Laboratory findings revealed anemia, thrombocytopenia, hypoalbuminemia, and hyperglobulinemia.

The spleen was aspirated and submitted for evaluation. This image of the splenic aspirate consists of few small, mature lymphocytes, one erythroid precursor, and one macrophage that contains many small T-shaped amastigotes that are 1-3µm in diameter (the T-shaped is formed by a small, round nucleus and a short, rod-shaped kinetoplast).

The definitive diagnosis is leishmaniasis, caused by an infection of Leishmania spp. Once endemic among the US Foxhound population, most other canine cases in the US have a travel history to the Mediterranean coast of Europe. The disease-specific amastigotes can be found within macrophages in the liver, spleen, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. If this disease is suspected and cytologic evidence is not found, there are several molecular diagnostics available (serology, PCR, etc).



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