• Target disease: Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL)
  • Main partners (since project start): International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain; Institute of Endemic Disease, Khartoum University, Sudan; Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, India; i+solutions, The Netherlands; Kala Azar Medical Research Centre, India; Lambda Therapeutic Research Ltd., India; LEAP; Ministry of Health, Sudan; Muzaffarpur Hospital, India; National Institute of Pathology, India; Netherlands Cancer Institute; The Netherlands; Rajendra Memorial Research Institute of Medical Sciences, India; SK Hospital, Mymensingh, Bangladesh; University of Gedaraf, Sudan; Uppsala University, Sweden.
  • Project start: March 2015
  • Funding (since project start): Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA; Department for International Development (DFID), UK; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), The Netherlands; French Development Agency (AFD), France; Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders; Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (WHO-TDR), Switzerland.


Overall Objective:

  • Determine the safety and efficacy of two treatment regimens for patients with PKDL, mainly in the Indian Sub-continent and East Africa.



DNDi is prioritizing the management of PKDL patients who are believed to constitute a potential reservoir of infection for VL in the Indian Sub-continent and East Africa. Early treatment of PKDL patients could be critical elements of any VL public health and elimination strategy.


In late 2017, recruitment started for a Phase II study in Asia to test both AmBisome® monotherapy and a combination of AmBisome® and miltefosine, with six patients enrolled in clinical sites in India (RMRI in Patna and KAMRC in Muzzafarpur), while a clinical site in Bangladesh is preparing for initiation. The target recruitment of 110 patients is expected to be completed by January 2019.

A Phase II study to test both AmBisome in combination with miltefosine, and paromomycin in combination with miltefosine is under preparation in Sudan. Target recruitment will be 110 patients over two years.

A PKDL infectivity study – studying the ability of a pathogen to establish a horizontal infection, that is not from parent to child – in Bangladesh completed the recruitment of 65 patients and results are under analysis. In Sudan, the preparation of an insectarium for infectivity studies continues.

A Phase II study testing both AmBisome® monotherapy and a combination of AmBisome® and miltefosine is underway in India and Bangladesh to assess the safety and efficacy for patients with PKDL. A separate Phase II study to assess the safety and efficacy of both AmBisome® in combination with miltefosine, and paromomycin in combination with miltefosine, is planned in Sudan. Site visits have been undertaken at all participating sites in the three countries, and protocols and study documents are under finalization for submission to ethical and regulatory review. In addition, two PKDL infectivity studies are under preparation in Bangladesh and Sudan. Their objective is to establish the infectivity of PKDL patients to sand flies, to determine if PKDL patients maintain interepidemic transmission of VL.

Last update: August 2018