Of cattle, sand flies and men : a systematic review of risk factor analyses for South Asian visceral leishmaniasis and implications for elimination
Bern, Caryn, Courtenay, Orin and Alvar, Jorge. (2010) Of cattle, sand flies and men : a systematic review of risk factor analyses for South Asian visceral leishmaniasis and implications for elimination. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol.4 (No.2). ISSN 1935-2727
WRAP_Courtenay_cattle_sand_flies.pdf - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0000599
Background: Studies performed over the past decade have identified fairly consistent epidemiological patterns of risk
factors for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Indian subcontinent.
Methods and Principal Findings: To inform the current regional VL elimination effort and identify key gaps in knowledge,
we performed a systematic review of the literature, with a special emphasis on data regarding the role of cattle because
primary risk factor studies have yielded apparently contradictory results. Because humans form the sole infection reservoir,
clustering of kala-azar cases is a prominent epidemiological feature, both at the household level and on a larger scale.
Subclinical infection also tends to show clustering around kala-azar cases. Within villages, areas become saturated over a
period of several years; kala-azar incidence then decreases while neighboring areas see increases. More recently, post kalaazar
dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) cases have followed kala-azar peaks. Mud walls, palpable dampness in houses, and peridomestic
vegetation may increase infection risk through enhanced density and prolonged survival of the sand fly vector.
Bed net use, sleeping on a cot and indoor residual spraying are generally associated with decreased risk. Poor micronutrient
status increases the risk of progression to kala-azar. The presence of cattle is associated with increased risk in some studies
and decreased risk in others, reflecting the complexity of the effect of bovines on sand fly abundance, aggregation, feeding
behavior and leishmanial infection rates. Poverty is an overarching theme, interacting with individual risk factors on multiple
Conclusions: Carefully designed demonstration projects, taking into account the complex web of interconnected risk
factors, are needed to provide direct proof of principle for elimination and to identify the most effective maintenance
activities to prevent a rapid resurgence when interventions are scaled back. More effective, short-course treatment
regimens for PKDL are urgently needed to enable the elimination initiative to succeed.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||R Medicine > R Medicine (General)|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Science > Life Sciences (2010- ) > Biological Sciences ( -2010)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Kala-azar -- India, Insects as carriers of disease, Animals as carriers of disease, Rural poor -- India|
|Journal or Publication Title:||PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases|
|Publisher:||Public Library of Science|
|Official Date:||February 2010|
|Access rights to Published version:||Open Access|
1. World Health Organization (2008) The Global Burden of Disease: 2004 update.
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