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Asymptomatic Leishmania infections in northern India: a threat for the elimination programme?

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Volume
108
Issue
11
Pages
679–684
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1093/trstmh/tru146
Source
Kesari Lab
License
Unknown

Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) continues to embody as a mammoth public health problem and hurdle to the socioeconomic development of Bihar, India. Interestingly, all leishmanial infections do not lead to overt clinical disease and may stay asymptomatic for a period of time. Asymptomatic cases of VL are considered as probable potential reservoirs of VL, and thus can play a major role in transmission of the disease in highly endemic areas of Bihar, India. They outnumber the exact disease burden in endemic areas of this region, thus jeopardizing the goal of the elimination program that is due by 2015. This article discusses the potential risk factors, epidemiological markers of transmission and requirement of highly sensitive diagnostic tools for efficient recognition of the high risk groups of conversion to symptomatic for proper designing of strategies for implementation of the control programs.

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