Quantifying the infectiousness of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis towards sandflies

by Mondal D, Bern C, Ghosh D, Rashid M, Molina R, Chowdhury R, Nath R, Ghosh P, Chapman L, Alim A, Bilbe G, Alvar J. Clinical Infectious Diseases 2019, 69(2):251-258. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciy891

Summary: Data suggests that post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) patients can act as an infection reservoir for visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The authors conducted xenodiagnosis on 47 PKDL patients and 15 VL patients; laboratory-reared Phlebotomus argentipes were allowed to feed on patient’s blood either directly or through a membrane, and five days later were dissected and examined for parasite infection. VL and both nodular and macular PKDL were found to be infectious to sand flies. Active PKDL case detection and prompt treatment should therefore be instituted and maintained as an integral part of VL control and elimination programmes.

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