Leishmaniasis outbreak the biggest yet in Europe

The largest outbreak in Europe – 446 cases from 2010 to 2012 compared to the usual 12–25 cases annually – occurred in four towns near Madrid, with more than one-third of patients having the more severe visceral leishmaniasis rather than cutaneous disease.

Dogs are the main known reservoir for Leishmania infantum but only 26% of cases were exposed to dogs, investigators found.

They established that hares in nearby parkland were a new reservoir, with 30% of trapped

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