Although dogs are the main reservoir for human Leishmania infantum infection, the disease has also been reported in other domestic and wild mammals. In 2011, a fatal case of naturally acquired leishmaniosis was described for the first time in a Bennett's wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus) kept in a wildlife park in Madrid (Spain). This study was designed to assess the infection status of twelve Bennett's wallabies in the same park one year after this incident. Phlebotomus perniciosus, the main vector of L. infantum in Spain, was screened for using sticky and Centers for Disease Control miniature light traps. L. infantum infection was confirmed by molecular diagnosis in four animals, but only one wallaby returned a positive serology result. The presence of the sand fly vector was also confirmed in this habitat. These results suggest that the first case of L. infantum in a wallaby in this park was not an isolated incident and stress the need for further work to determine the role of this parasite in the morbidity and mortality of these macropods. Madrid was recently the scene of an outbreak of human cutaneous and visceral leishmaniosis. Epidemiological studies have so far revealed the widespread presence of L. infantum infection in animals other than the dog. Our ongoing work suggests a risk of L. infantum infection not only among captive animals in Madrid, but also among threatened species or even species that are already extinct in the wild.
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