Kala-azar outbreak in Libo Kemkem, Ethiopia: epidemiologic and parasitologic assessment.
ABSTRACT In May 2005, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was recognized for the first time in Libo Kemkem, Ethiopia. In October 2005, a rapid assessment was conducted using data from 492 patients with VL treated in the district health center and a household survey of 584 residents of four villages. One subdistrict accounted for 71% of early cases, but the incidence and number of affected subdistricts increased progressively throughout 2004-2005. In household-based data, we identified 9 treated VL cases, 12 current untreated cases, and 19 deaths attributable to VL (cumulative incidence, 7%). Thirty percent of participants were leishmanin skin test positive (men, 34%; women, 26%; P = 0.06). VL was more common in men than women (9.7% versus 4.5%, P < 0.05), possibly reflecting male outdoor sleeping habits. Molecular typing in splenic aspirates showed L. infantum (six) and L. donovani (one). Local transmission resulted from multiple introductions, is now well established, and will be difficult to eradicate.
Article: Factors Associated with Leishmania Asymptomatic Infection: Results from a Cross-Sectional Survey in Highland Northern Ethiopia[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Background: In northern Ethiopia the prevalence of visceral leishmaniasis is steadily rising posing an increasing public health concern. In order to develop effective control strategies on the transmission of the disease it is important to generate knowledge on the epidemiological determinants of the infection. Methodology/Principal Findings: We conducted a cross-sectional survey on children 4–15 years of age using a multi staged stratified cluster sampling on high incidence sub-districts of Amhara regional state, Ethiopia. The survey included a sociodemographic, health and dietary questionnaire, and anthropometric measurements. We performed rK39-ICT and DAT serological tests in order to detect anti-Leishmania antibodies and carried out Leishmanin Skin Test (LST) using L.major antigen. Logistic regression models were used. Of the 565 children surveyed 56 children were positive to infection (9.9%). The individual variables that showed a positive association with infection were increasing age, being male and sleeping outside [adjusted odds ratios (95% CI): 1.15 (1.03, 1.29), 2.56 (1.19, 5.48) and 2.21 (1.03, 4.71) respectively] and in relation to the household: past history of VL in the family, living in a straw roofed house and if the family owned sheep [adjusted OR (95% CI): 2.92 (1.25, 6.81), 2.71 (1.21, 6.07) and 4.16 (1.41, 12.31) respectively]. Conclusions/Significance: A behavioural pattern like sleeping outside is determinant in the transmission of the infection in this area. Protective measures should be implemented against this identified risk activity. Results also suggest a geographical clustering and a household focalization of the infection. The behaviour of the vector in the area needs to be clarified in order to establish the role of domestic animals and house materials in the transmission of the infection.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 09/2012; · 4.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) caused by Leishmania donovani is a major health problem in Ethiopia. Parasites in disparate regions are transmitted by different vectors, and cluster in distinctive genotypes. Recently isolated strains from VL and HIV-VL co-infected patients in north and south Ethiopia were characterized as part of a longitudinal study on VL transmission. Sixty-three L. donovani strains were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting three regions: internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), cysteine protease B (cpb), and HASPB (k26). ITS1- and cpb - PCR identified these strains as L. donovani. Interestingly, the k26 - PCR amplicon size varied depending on the patient's geographic origin. Most strains from northwestern Ethiopia (36/40) produced a 290 bp product with a minority (4/40) giving a 410 bp amplicon. All of the latter strains were isolated from patients with HIV-VL co-infections, while the former group contained both VL and HIV-VL co-infected patients. Almost all the strains (20/23) from southwestern Ethiopia produced a 450 bp amplicon with smaller products (290 or 360 bp) only observed for three strains. Sudanese strains produced amplicons identical (290 bp) to those found in northwestern Ethiopia; while Kenyan strains gave larger PCR products (500 and 650 bp). High-resolution melt (HRM) analysis distinguished the different PCR products. Sequence analysis showed that the k26 repeat region in L. donovani is comprised of polymorphic 13 and 14 amino acid motifs. The 13 amino acid peptide motifs, prevalent in L. donovani, are rare in L. infantum. The number and order of the repeats in L. donovani varies between geographic regions. HASPB repeat region (k26) shows considerable polymorphism among L. donovani strains from different regions in East Africa. This should be taken into account when designing diagnostic assays and vaccines based on this antigen.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 01/2013; 7(1):e2031. · 4.69 Impact Factor
Article: Evaluation of PCR procedures for detecting and quantifying Leishmania donovani DNA in large numbers of dried human blood samples from a visceral leishmaniasis focus in Northern Ethiopia.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a disseminated protozoan infection caused by Leishmania donovani parasites which affects almost half a million persons annually. Most of these are from the Indian sub-continent, East Africa and Brazil. Our study was designed to elucidate the role of symptomatic and asymptomatic Leishmania donovani infected persons in the epidemiology of VL in Northern Ethiopia. METHODS: The efficacy of quantitative real-time kinetoplast DNA/PCR (qRT-kDNA PCR) for detecting Leishmania donovani in dried-blood samples was assessed in volunteers living in an endemic focus. RESULTS: Of 4,757 samples, 680 (14.3%) were found positive for Leishmania k-DNA but most of those (69%) had less than 10 parasites/ml of blood. Samples were re-tested using identical protocols and only 59.3% of the samples with 10 parasite/ml or less were qRT-kDNA PCR positive the second time. Furthermore, 10.8% of the PCR negative samples were positive in the second test. Most samples with higher parasitemias remained positive upon re-examination (55/59 =93%). We also compared three different methods for DNA preparation. Phenol-chloroform was more efficient than sodium hydroxide or potassium acetate. DNA sequencing of ITS1 PCR products showed that 20/22 samples were Leishmania donovani while two had ITS1 sequences homologous to Leishmania major. CONCLUSIONS: Although qRT-kDNA PCR is a highly sensitive test, the dependability of low positives remains questionable. It is crucial to correlate between PCR parasitemia and infectivity to sand flies. While optimal sensitivity is achieved by targeting k-DNA, it is important to validate the causative species of VL by DNA sequencing.BMC Infectious Diseases 03/2013; 13(1):153. · 3.12 Impact Factor