Role of asymptomatic and symptomatic humans as reservoirs of visceral leishmaniasis in a Mediterranean context

by Molina R, Jiménez M, García-Martínez J, San Martín JV, Carrillo E, Sánchez C, Moreno J, Alvar JPLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 2020, 14(4): e0008253. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008253

Summary: Visceral leishmaniasis is caused by Leishmania infantum in the Mediterranean region, with dog as the primary domestic reservoir. In this study, the authors investigate the role of the human host in disease transmission. They conclude that infected asymptomatic individuals and immunocompetent patients treated for visceral leishmaniasis have no epidemiological impact on the transmission of Linfantum. The impact of immunocompetent patients with untreated active visceral leishmaniasis is limited, whilst immunosuppressed patients are the most infectious towards the sand fly vector. The authors recommend screening for latent Leishmania infection in HIV-infected patients in scenarios where transmission occurs.

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