Eight cases of feline cutaneous leishmaniasis in Texas. Academic Article uri icon


  • Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease caused by intracellular Leishmania protozoa that are transmitted by sandflies. The disease occurs in 3 forms: cutaneous, mucocutaneous, and visceral. Cutaneous leishmaniasis has been reported in cats in Europe and South America and in 1 cat from Texas. Leishmania mexicana is endemic in Texas and has been reported to cause cutaneous lesions in humans. This article describes the pathology of 8 biopsy cases of feline cutaneous leishmaniasis presented to the Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory over a 3.5-year period. The median age of the cats was 3 years; each was presented with nodular, ulcerative lesions on the pinnae and less commonly on the muzzle and periorbital skin. Histologically, the lesions were nodular to diffuse histiocytic dermatitis with numerous amastigotes (2-4 m) within macrophages and occasionally within the interstitium. Organisms were often contained within round, clear, intracellular vacuoles. In areas of necrosis, organisms were also free within the interstitium. The overlying epidermis was hyperkeratotic, hyperplastic, and often ulcerated. The organisms were not argyrophilic (Gomori methenamine silver), reacted poorly with periodic acid-Schiff reagent, and were inconsistently basophilic with Giemsa. Although not readily visible histologically, kinetoplasts were evident in amastigotes in cytologic preparations. The lesions were similar to those described for cutaneous L. mexicana infection in humans. In 5 of the 8 cats, Leishmania mexicana DNA was amplified from paraffin-embedded tissue by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced.

published proceedings

  • Vet Pathol

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Trainor, K. E., Porter, B. F., Logan, K. S., Hoffman, R. J., & Snowden, K. F.

citation count

  • 43

complete list of authors

  • Trainor, KE||Porter, BF||Logan, KS||Hoffman, RJ||Snowden, KF

publication date

  • November 2010