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Parasitology and Parasitological Diseases

Lab Overview

Lab Overview

In the last 30 years the research developed by LPDP has been devoted to the most important and prevalent animal parasitic diseases in Portugal. Our research interests include the study of a great diversity of parasites of Small/Exotic Pets, Horses/Livestock and Wildlife. Currently, Vector and Food Borne parasitic diseases under One Health concept, Gastrointestinal parasites (GIP) in domestic and wild mammals and birds, assessment of their control whether by Chemical with anthelmintics or Biological approach using Predatory Fungi and Wild Carnivores as sentinels of Ecosystem Health using GIP as biological tags are main focus. But also, Forensic Entomology, Bee Health, Wildlife Diseases and Conservation Medicine. Parasite identification and parasitic diseases diagnostics using morphological, serological and molecular methods are regularly used in our laboratories.

Team members’ expertise has been related to: a) Epidemiology, immune response, diagnosis and treatment of canine leishmaniosis; b) horse/donkey strongyle control using coprological assessment to check anthelmintic efficacy and enforce targeted selective treatment; c) alternative/complementary methods of parasite control with parasiticide fungi Duddongtonia flagrans and Mucor circinelloides; d) Bioecological, morphological,molecular and risk analysis studies of Culicoides genus; e) detection of public spaces contamination by Toxocara canis, T. cati and dog/cat lungworms and other co-infective parasites regarding Animal and Public Health risk; f) epidemiological aspects and distribution of Dirofilaria immitis and Angiostrongylus vasorum in dog, wild and zoo animals; g) studies about CVBD agents in vertebrates and ticks in Portugal; h) Studies about inter-transmissibility of 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; i) Cattle breed resistance to tropical theileriosis; j) Bee health.



- Achieving new frontiers through trypanosomatid exosomes

- Domestic and Wild mammal and bird GIP monitoring with quantitative coproscopy based in FLOTAC devices

- Cryptosporidiosis and Giardiosis in domestic animals: molecular detection and genotypic characterization

- Immune precision medicine as a new opportunity to control canine trypanosomatid diseases

- Detection of Leishmania spp. in wildlife

- Evaluation of putative resistance/tolerance of autochthonous cattle breeds to Theileria annulata infection

- Major Iberian top predator (wolf, Iberian lynx and brown bear), cohabitant carnivores  and their prey (lagomorphs and ungulates) parasite screening under the scope of One Health

- Isolation of ovicidal and larvicidal predatory fungi among domestic and wild animals and facilities to setup a mycological collection and culture for in vitro and in vivo trials of efficacy


Selected Publications

Canhão-Dias, M., Paz-Silva, A., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M., 2020. The efficacy of predatory fungi on the control of gastrointestinal parasites in domestic and wild animals – a systematic review. Vet Parasitol, 283. 

Dordio, A.M.,  Beck, R., Nunes, T., Pereira da Fonseca, I., Gomes, J., 2021. Molecular survey of vector-borne diseases in two groups of domestic dogs from Lisbon, Portugal. Parasites Vectors 14:163.

Figueiredo, A.M., Barros, T., Valente, A.M., Fonseca, C., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M., Torres, R.T., 2019. Prevalence of zoonotic parasites in an endangered Iberian wolf (Canis lupus signatus) population in Portugal. Mammalian Biol, 98, 154-162.

Santos, M.F., Alexandre-Pires, G., Pereira, M.A., Gomes, L., Rodrigues, A.V., Basso, A., Reisinho, A., Meireles, J., Santos-Gomes, G.M., da Fonseca, I.P., 2020. Immunophenotyping of Peripheral Blood, Lymph Node, and Bone Marrow T Lymphocytes During Canine Leishmaniosis and the Impact of Antileishmanial Chemotherapy. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 7. 

Santos, M.F., Alexandre-Pires, G., Pereira, M.A., Marques, C.S., Gomes, J., Correia, J., Duarte, A., Gomes, L., Rodrigues, A.V., Basso, A., Reisinho, A., Meireles, J., Santos-Mateus, D., Brito, M.T.V., Tavares, L., Santos-Gomes, G.M., da Fonseca, I.P., 2019. Meglumine antimoniate and miltefosine combined with allopurinol sustain pro-inflammatory immune environments during canine leishmaniosis treatmentFront. Vet. Sci. 6:362. 

Sousa, S., Anastácio, S., Nóvoa, M., Paz-Silva, A., Madeira de Carvalho, L.M., 2021. Gastrointestinal Parasitism in Miranda Donkeys: Epidemiology and Selective Control of Strongyles Infection in the Northeast of Portugal. Animals, 11, 155-172.