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Parasitology and Parasitological Diseases

Lab Overview

By definition, a Pathology Laboratory is a LPPD research interest refers to endo/ectoparasites of Small/Exotic Pets, Horses/Livestock, Wildlife, Vector and Food Borne Diseases under One Health concept, Forensic Entomology, Bee Health and parasites identification using morphological, serological and molecular methods.

Team members’ expertise has been related to: a) Epidemiology, immune response, diagnosis and treatment of canine leishmaniosis;b) horse/donkey strongyle control using alternative/complementary methods namely targeted treatment and parasiticide fungi; c) Bioecological, morphological,molecular and risk analysis studies of Culicoidesgenus; d)detection of public spaces contamination byToxocara canis, T. catiand cat lungworms and other co-infective parasites regarding animal health and Public Health risk; e) epidemiological aspects and distribution of Dirofilaria immitisand Angiostrongylus vasorum in dog, wild and zoo animals; f)  studies about CVBD agents in vertebrates and in ixodids in Portugal;  g) Studies about inter-transmissibilityof gastrointestinal helminths and other agents in captive/wild marine mammals and domestic/feral/wild carnivores and ungulates, their importance in Public/Animal Health as well as biological tags in Wildlife Diseases monitoring; h) Cattle breed resistance to tropical theileriosis; i) Bee health.     


 - Studies in Leishmania infantum: a) in dog: neutrophils effector mechanisms, immunomodulation in canine Kupffer cells by meglumine antimoniate, modulation of memory cell subsets of liver resident T lymphocyte; b) in cat: combination of allopurinol and N-methyl-glucamine antimoniate for the treatment of feline leishmaniosis.

- Description of a new Culicoides species for science - Culicoides paradoxalis sp. nov. and first reference of 20 Culicoides species in Portugal

- Development of molecular assays and studies in population genetics for detection of Theileria annulatain cattle

- Occurrence of gastrointestinal helminths and chewing lice in wild birds in southern Portugal

Studies on entomological fauna on Canis familiariscarrions decomposition 

- First reference of Avispora mochogalegoin. sp. in the little owl (Athene noctua) and Caryosporapeneireiroin. sp. in the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) in mainland Portugal

- Parasitological survey of shelter cats/dogs and wildlife animals -  from the 6 different groups/species of endoparasites detected, 4 present zoonotic potential.

-Prevalence and seasonal variations of canine Dirofilariosis in Portugal -  higher prevalence of dirofilariosis with an increasing rate of infection in southern areas of Portugal attributed to bioclimatic/ecological factors.

- Patchy distribution of Angiostrongylus vasorumin dogs all over the country, while A. abstrusus, showed a higher prevalence northwards regarding the cats.

- Environmental contamination with Toxocaraspp. eggs in two thirds of the sampled soil of public parks and playground sandpits of Lisbon The molecular analysis showed contamination with T. catiand T. caniseggs.

- Targeted selective treatment approach by administration of nematophagous fungi - larvicidal Duddingtonia flagransand ovicidal Mucor circinelloides-in water suspension, industrially manufactured pellets or gelatins for horses EPG control.


Selected Publications

Ramilo DW, Nunes T, Madeira S, Boinas F, Pereira da Fonseca I. (2017). Geographical distribution of Culicoides(Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) in mainland Portugal: presence/absence modelling of vector and potential vector species. PLoS ONE12(7): e0180606.  

Alho, A.M., Marcelino, I., Colella, V., Flanagan, C., Silva, N., Correia, J.J., Latrofa, M.S., Otranto, D., Madeira de Carvalho, L. (2017) Dirofilaria immitis in pinnipeds and a new host record. Parasites & Vectors,10:142-147.

Pereira M, Valério-Bolas A, Santos-Mateus D, Alexandre-Pires G, Santos M, Rodrigues A, Rocha H, Santos A, Martins C, Tomás A, Passero F, Pereira da Fonseca I, Santos-Gomes G. (2017) Canine neutrophils activate effector mechanisms in response to Leishmania infantum. Veterinary Parasitology, 248, 10-20.

Alho, A.M., Silva, J., Fonseca, M.J., Santos, F., Nunes, C., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M., Rodrigues, M., Cardoso, L. (2016). First report of Cytauxzoonsp. infection in a domestic cat from Portugal Parasites & Vectors, 9 (1): 220-224.

Alho, A.M., Pita, J., Amaro, A., Amaro, F., Schnyder, M., Grimm, F., Custódio, A.C., Cardoso, L., Deplazes, P., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M. (2016). Seroprevalence of vector-borne pathogens and molecular detection of Borreliaafzeliiin military dogs from Portugal. Parasites & Vectors, 9(1): 225-230.

Jacquet, S., Garros, C., Lombaert, E., Walton, C., Restrepo, J., Allene, X., Baldet, T., Cetre-Sossah, C.,; Chaskopoulou, A., Delecolle, J.-C., Desvars, A. Djerbal, M., Fall, M., Gardes, L., de Garine-Wichatitsky, M., Goffredo, M., Gottlieb, Y., Gueye-Fall, A., Kasina, M., Labuschagne, K., Lhor, Y., Lucientes, J., Martin, T., Mathieu, B., Miranda, M., Pages, N., Pereira Da Fonseca, I., Ramilo, D., Segard, A.,  Setier-Rio, M.L., Stachurski, F., Tabbabi, A., Talla Seck, M., Balenghien, T., Guis, H., Chevillon, C., Bouyer, J.,  Huber, K. (2015) Colonization of the Mediterranean Basin by the vector biting midge species Culicoides imicola: an old story. Molecular Ecology, 24 (22): 5707-5725.

Jacquet, S., Huber, K., Pages, N., Talavera, S., Burgin, L.E., Carpenter, S., Sanders, C., Djerbal, M., Lhor, Y., Lucientes, J., Miranda, M., Pereira Da Fonseca, I., Ramilo, D., Setier-Rio, M.L. (2015).  Range expansion of the Bluetongue vector Culicoides imicolain continental France thanks to meteorological events. Scientific Reports6:27247  

Alho, A.M, Landum, M., Ferreira, C., Meireles, J., Gonçalves, L., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M., Belo, S. (2014) Prevalence and seasonal variations of canine Dirofilariosis in Portugal. Vet. Parasitology, 206 (1/2) 99-105. 

Ramilo, D., Garros, C., Mathieu, B.,  Benedet, C., Allene, X., Silva, E., Alexandre-Pires, G., Pereira da Fonseca, I., Carpenter, S., Radorva, J., Delecolle, J.C. (2013). Description of Culicoides paradoxalissp. nov. from France and Portugal (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae). Zootaxa3745 (2): 243-256.

Helhazar, M., Leitão, J., Duarte, A., Tavares, L. , Pereira da Fonseca, I. (2013). Natural infection of synathropic rodent species Mus musculusand Rattus norvegicusby Leishmania infantumin Sesimbra and Sintra – Portugal  Parasites & Vectors. 6:88.