Leishmaniasis: current situation and new perspectives.

Department of Control, Prevention and Elimination (CDS/CPE), Cluster of Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization (WHO), Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Comparative Immunology Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (Impact Factor: 2.11). 10/2004; 27(5):305-18. DOI: 10.1016/j.cimid.2004.03.004
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Leishmaniasis represents a complex of diseases with an important clinical and epidemiological diversity. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is of higher priority than cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) as it is a fatal disease in the absence of treatment. Anthroponotic VL foci are of special concern as they are at the origin of frequent and deathly epidemics (e.g. Sudan). Leishmaniasis burden remains important: 88 countries, 350 million people at risk, 500,000 new cases of VL per year, 1-1.5 million for CL and DALYs: 2.4 millions. Most of the burden is concentrated on few countries which allows clear geographic priorities. Leishmaniasis is still an important public health problem due to not only environmental risk factors such as massive migrations, urbanisation, deforestation, new irrigation schemes, but also to individual risk factors: HIV, malnutrition, genetic, etc em leader Leishmaniasis is part of those diseases which still requires improved control tools. Consequently WHO/TDR research for leishmaniasis has been more and more focusing on the development of new tools such as diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines. The ongoing effort has already produced significant results. The newly available control tools should allow a scaling up of control activities in priority areas. In anthroponotic foci, the feasibility of getting a strong impact on mortality, morbidity and transmission, is high.

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