Article ID: 2014-30
The eco-epidemiology of American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (ACL) is driven by animal reservoir species that are a source of infection for sand flies that serve as vectors infecting humans with Leishmania spp parasites. The emergence and re-emergence of this disease across Latin America calls for further studies to identify reservoir species associated with enzootic transmission. Here, we present results from a survey of 52 individuals from 13 wild mammal species at endemic sites in Costa Rica and Panama where ACL Mammal hosts have not been previously studied. For Leishmania spp. diagnostics we employed a novel PCR technique using blood samples collected on filter paper. We only found Leishmania spp parasites in one host, the two toed sloth, Choloepus hoffmanni. Our findings add further support to the major role of two toed sloths as an ACL reservoir in Central America.