[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated performance characteristics of five diagnostic methods for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Patients who came to the Leishmania Clinic of Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru, were enrolled in the study. Lesion smears, culture, microculture, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and leishmanin skin test (LST) were performed. A total of 145 patients with 202 lesions were enrolled: 114 patients with 161 lesions fulfilled criteria for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Sensitivity and specificity were 57.8% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 50.2-65.4%) and 100.0% for culture, 78.3% (95% CI = 71.9-84.7%) and 100.0% for microculture, 71.4% (95% CI = 64.4-78.4%) and 100.0% for smears, 78.2% (95% CI = 70.6-85.8%) and 77.4% (95% CI = 62.7-92.1%) for LST, and 96.9% (95% CI = 94.2-99.6%) and 65.9% (95% CI = 51.4-80.4%) for PCR. PCR was more sensitive than the other assays (P < 0.001). Sensitivities of culture, smears, and LST varied by lesion duration and appearance. PCR offers performance advantages over other assays, irrespective of patient age, sex, lesion duration, or appearance. That clinical factors influence performance of non-molecular assays offers clinicians a patient-focused approach to diagnostic test selection.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 08/2010; 83(2):345-50. DOI:10.4269/ajtmh.2010.09-0414 · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecular methods such as PCR have become attractive tools for diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), both for their high sensitivity and for their specificity. However, their practical use in routine diagnosis is limited due to the infrastructural requirements and the lack of any standardization. Recently, a simplified and standardized PCR format for molecular detection of Leishmania was developed. The Leishmania OligoC-TesT is based on simple and rapid detection using a dipstick with PCR-amplified Leishmania DNA. In this study, we estimated the diagnostic accuracy of the Leishmania OligoC-TesT for 61 specimens from 44 CL-suspected patients presenting at the leishmaniasis clinic of the Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Peru. On the basis of parasitological detection and the leishmanin skin test (LST), patients were classified as (i) confirmed CL cases, (ii) LST-positive cases, and (iii) LST-negative cases. The sensitivities of the Leishmania OligoC-TesT was 74% (95% confidence interval (CI), 60.5% to 84.1%) for lesion aspirates and 92% (95% CI, 81.2% to 96.9%) for scrapings. A significantly higher sensitivity was observed with a conventional PCR targeting the kinetoplast DNA on the aspirates (94%) (P = 0.001), while there was no significant difference in sensitivity for the lesion scrapings (88%) (P = 0.317). In addition, the Leishmania OligoC-TesT was evaluated for 13 CL-suspected patients in two different peripheral health centers in the central jungle of Peru. Our findings clearly indicate the high accuracy of the Leishmania OligoC-TesT for lesion scrapings for simple and rapid molecular diagnosis of CL in Peru.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current therapies for cutaneous leishmaniasis are limited by poor efficacy, long-term course of treatment, and the development of resistance. We evaluated if pentavalent antimony (an anti-parasitic drug) combined with imiquimod (an immunomodulator) was more effective than pentavalent antimony alone in patients who had not previously been treated.
A randomized double-blind clinical trial involving 80 cutaneous leishmaniasis patients was conducted in Peru. The study subjects were recruited in Lima and Cusco (20 experimental and 20 control subjects at each site). Experimental arm: Standard dose of pentavalent antimony plus 5% imiquimod cream applied to each lesion three times per week for 20 days. Control arm: Standard dose of pentavalent antimony plus placebo (vehicle cream) applied as above. The primary outcome was cure defined as complete re-epithelization with no inflammation assessed during the 12 months post-treatment period.
Of the 80 subjects enrolled, 75 completed the study. The overall cure rate at the 12-month follow-up for the intention-to-treat analysis was 75% (30/40) in the experimental arm and 58% (23/40) in the control arm (p = 0.098). Subgroup analyses suggested that combination treatment benefits were most often observed at the Cusco site, where L. braziliensis is the prevalent species. Over the study period, only one adverse event (rash) was recorded, in the experimental arm.
The combination treatment of imiquimod plus pentavalent antimony performed better than placebo plus pentavalent antimony, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Clinical Trials.gov NCT00257530.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional culture of Leishmania parasites is labor-intensive and shows poor sensitivity. We evaluated microculture and novel miniculture methods for diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL). Consecutive patients who came to the Leishmaniasis Clinic, Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru, were enrolled. Lesion aspirates were cultured in traditional tubes containing Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle medium and in miniculture tubes (Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany) and capillary tubes (microculture) containing RPMI 1640 medium containing 20% fetal bovine serum. The reference standard was positive results in two of four tests (smear, culture, polymerase chain reaction, or leishmanin skin test). Outcome measures were sensitivity and time to positivity. Fifty-five patients with 74 lesions were enrolled. Of 59 lesions that fulfilled reference criteria for CL, 50 were positive by microculture (sensitivity=84.7%; P=0.001), 45 by miniculture (sensitivity=76.3%; P=0.042), and 35 by traditional culture (sensitivity=59.3%). Median time to positivity was three days by microculture and miniculture and five days by traditional culture (P<0.001). Microculture and miniculture are sensitive and efficient means of diagnosing CL.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/2009; 79(6):847-52. · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Definite diagnosis of Leishmania infections is based on demonstration of the parasite by microscopic analysis of tissue biopsy specimens or aspirate samples. However, microscopy generally shows low sensitivity and requires invasive sampling.
We describe here the development of a simple and rapid test for the detection of polymerase chain reaction-amplified Leishmania DNA. A phase 1 evaluation of the text was conducted in clinical samples from 60 nonendemic and 45 endemic control subjects and from 44 patients with confirmed cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL), 12 with mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL), and 43 with visceral leishmaniasis (VL) from Peru, Kenya, and Sudan.
The lower detection limits of the assay are 10 fg of Leishmania DNA and 1 parasite in 180 microL of blood. The specificity was 98.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 91.1%-99.7%) and 95.6% (95% CI, 85.2%-98.8%) for nonendemic and endemic control samples, respectively, and the sensitivity was 93.2% (95% CI, 81.8%-97.7%), 91.7% (95% CI, 64.6%-98.5%), and 86% (95% CI, 72.7%-93.4%) for lesions from patients with CL or MCL and blood from patients with VL, respectively.
The Leishmania OligoC-TesT showed high specificity and sensitivity in clinical samples and was able to detect the parasite in samples obtained by less invasive means, such as blood, lymph, and lesion scrapings. The assay is a promising new tool for simplified and standardized molecular detection of Leishmania parasites.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 10/2008; 198(10):1565-72. DOI:10.1086/592509 · 5.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) with standard pentavalent antimonial therapy is hampered by cumbersome administration, toxicity, and potential failure. Knowledge of factors influencing treatment outcome is essential for successful management.
A case-control study of incident cases was performed with patients experiencing their first CL episode. The standard treatment for CL for these patients was 20 mg/kg/day of sodium stibogluconate for 20 days. Clinical and epidemiological data were recorded, and parasite isolates were species typed. Patients were followed up for 6 months to assess treatment outcome. Clinical cure was defined as complete wound closure and re-epithelization without inflammation or infiltration; new lesions, wound reopening, or signs of activity were classified as treatment failure. Descriptive, bivariate, and logistic regression analyses were performed.
One hundred twenty-seven patients were recruited; 63 (49.6%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) peruviana, 29 (22.8%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis, 27 (21.3%) were infected with Leishmania (Viannia) guyanensis, and 8 (6.3%) were infected with other species. Only patients infected with the 3 most common species were selected for risk-factor analysis (n=119). Final failure rate at 6 months was 24.4% (95% confidence interval [CI], 16.5%-32.1%), with 96% of failures occurring within the first 3 months of follow-up assessment. Risk factors for treatment failure identified in the final multivariate model were age (per year, odds ratio [OR], 0.95; 95% CI, 0.92-0.99; P=.017), stay of <72 months in area of disease acquisition (OR, 30.45; 95% CI, 2.38-389.25; P=.009), duration of disease <5 weeks (OR, 4.39; 95% CI, 1.12-17.23; P=.034), additional lesion (per lesion, OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.3-3.28; P=.002), infection with L. (V.) peruviana (OR, 9.85; 95% CI, 1.01-95.65; P=.049), and infection with L. (V.) braziliensis (OR, 22.36; 95% CI, 1.89-263.96; P=.014).
The identification of parasite species and clinical risk factors for antimonial treatment failure should lead to an improved management of CL in patients in Peru.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional culture of Leishmania spp. is labor intensive and has poor sensitivity. We evaluated a microculture method for the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis in consecutive patients presenting to the Leishmaniasis Clinic at the Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Peru, for evaluation of skin lesions. Lesion aspirates were cultured in duplicate and parallel in traditional culture tubes containing modified Novy-MacNeal-Nicolle (NNN) medium or Roswell Park Memorial Institute medium 1640 with 10% fetal bovine serum (10% RPMI) and in 70-microl capillary tubes containing a mixture of lesion aspirate and 10% RPMI. For sensitivity analysis, the consensus standard was considered to be a positive result in any two of the following four tests: Giemsa-stained lesion smear, culture, kinetoplast DNA PCR, or leishmanin skin test. The outcome measures were sensitivity and time to culture positivity. Forty-five patients with 62 skin lesions were enrolled in the study, of which 53 lesions fulfilled the consensus criteria for a final diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis. Of these 53 lesions, 39 were culture positive: 38 in capillary tubes, 29 in traditional culture tubes with modified NNN medium, and 19 in traditional culture tubes with 10% RPMI medium. The sensitivity of microculture was 71.7%, versus 54.7% for traditional culture with NNN (P, 0.038) and 35.8% with 10% RPMI (P, <0.001). The mean times to culture positivity were 4.2 days by microculture, 5.2 days in NNN, and 6 days in 10% RPMI (P, 0.009). We have demonstrated that microculture is a more sensitive and time-efficient means of isolating Leishmania parasites from cutaneous lesions than traditional culture.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pentavalent antimonials (SbV) are the first-line chemotherapy for American tegumentary leishmaniasis (ATL). There are, however, reports of the occurrence of treatment failure with these drugs. Few studies in Latin America have compared the response to SbV treatment in ATL caused by different Leishmania species.
Clinical parameters and response to SbV chemotherapy were studied in 103 patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) in Peru. Leishmania isolates were collected before treatment and typed by multilocus polymerase-chain-reaction restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis.
The 103 isolates were identified as L. (Viannia) peruviana (47.6%), L. (V.) guyanensis (23.3%), L. (V.) braziliensis (22.3%), L. (V.) lainsoni (4.9%), L. (Leishmania) mexicana (1%), and a putative hybrid, L. (V.) braziliensis/L. (V.) peruviana (1%). L. (V.) guyanensis was most abundant in central Peru. Of patients infected with the 3 former species, 21 (21.9%) did not respond to SbV chemotherapy. The proportions of treatment failure (after 12 months of follow-up) were 30.4%, 24.5%, and 8.3% in patients infected with L. (V.) braziliensis, L. (V.) peruviana, and L. (V.) guyanensis, respectively. Infection with L. (V.) guyanensis was associated with significantly less treatment failure than L. (V.) braziliensis, as determined by multiple logistic regression analysis (odds ratio, 0.07 [95% confidence interval, 0.007-0.8]; P=.03).
Leishmania species can influence SbV treatment outcome in patients with CL. Therefore, parasite identification is of utmost clinical importance, because it should lead to a species-oriented treatment.
The Journal of Infectious Diseases 07/2007; 195(12):1846-51. DOI:10.1086/518041 · 5.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tegumentary leishmaniasis in Latin America is caused mainly by Leishmania viannia braziliensis complex parasites. L. braziliensis and Leishmania viannia peruviana are the 2 predominant Leishmania species in Peru. L. braziliensis is more virulent, because it can cause mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, known as espundia, that results in severe facial destruction. Early identification of the species that causes the initial cutaneous infection would greatly help to prevent mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, because it would allow more aggressive treatment and follow-up. However, because of the close genetic similarity of L. braziliensis and L. peruviana, there currently exists no simple assay to distinguish between these species.
We cloned the mannose phosphate isomerase gene from both L. braziliensis and L. peruviana. It is the only known isoenzyme capable of differentiating between L. braziliensis and L. peruviana in multilocus enzyme electrophoresis. Interestingly, only a single nucleotide polymorphism was found between the mannose phosphate isomerase genes from L. braziliensis and L. peruviana, resulting in an amino acid change from threonine to arginine at amino acid 361. A polymerase chain reaction assay was developed to distinguish the single nucleotide polymorphism of the mannose phosphate isomerase gene to allow for the specific identification of L. braziliensis or L. peruviana.
This assay was validated with 31 reference strains that were previously typed by multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, successfully applied to patient biopsy samples, and adapted to a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay.
This innovative approach combines new genetic knowledge with traditional biochemical fundamentals of multilocus enzyme electrophoresis to better manage leishmaniasis in Latin America.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Current treatments for cutaneous leishmaniasis are limited by their toxicity, high cost, and discomfort and the emergence of drug resistance. New approaches, including combination therapies, are urgently needed. We performed a double-blind, randomized trial of therapy with parenteral antimony plus topical imiquimod, an innate immune-response modulator, versus therapy with antimony alone, in subjects with cutaneous leishmaniasis for whom an initial course of antimony therapy had failed.
Forty subjects with clinical resistance to antimony were recruited in Lima, Peru, between February 2001 and December 2002. All subjects received meglumine antimoniate (20 mg/kg/day im or iv) and were randomized to receive either topical imiquimod 5% cream (Aldara; 3M Pharmaceuticals) or vehicle control every other day for 20 days. Lesions and adverse events were evaluated during treatment and at 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12 months after the treatment period.
The mean number of lesions was 1.2 per person; 71% of the lesions were facial and 76% were ulcerative. There were no major differences between the groups, and all but 2 subjects completed therapy. Mild adverse events were reported by 73% of the subjects, but only erythema occurred more commonly in the imiquimod group (P < or = .02). Lesions resolved more rapidly in the imiquimod group: 50% of the imiquimod group achieved cure at 1 month after the treatment period versus 15% of the vehicle cream group (P < or = .02); 61% of the imiquimod group at 2 months versus 25% of the vehicle cream group (P < or = .03); and 72% of the imiquimod group at 3 months versus 35% of the vehicle cream group (P < or = .02). Residual scarring in the imiquimod group was less prominent than in the vehicle cream group.
Combined antimony plus imiquimod treatment was well tolerated, accelerated healing of lesions, and improved scar quality. This therapy may have particular advantages for subjects with facial lesions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pentamidine was compared with meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime) for 80 patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis due to Leishmania braziliensis in Peru. Of the 40 patients administered Glucantime (20 mg of antimony [Sb]/kg/day intravenously for 20 days), 31 cured (78%), 6 failed (15%), of which 5 were due to relapse, and 3 were lost to follow-up (7%). Of the 40 patients administered pentamidine (2 mg/kg every other day for seven injections), 14 were cured (35%), 23 failed (58%), and 3 were lost to follow-up (7%). Five pentamidine failures were due to relapse, and 14 failures were due to the presence of parasites two weeks after therapy. Both regimens were well tolerated. Gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, and total adverse events were not statistically different in either group. Elevations in levels of liver enzymes and pancreatic enzymes were statistically higher in the Glucantime group, but no patient terminated therapy prematurely. In this study, Glucantime was more effective than pentamidine for treatment of L. braziliensis cutaneous leishmaniasis in Peru based on parasitologic as well as clinical criteria.
The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 03/2005; 72(2):133-7. · 2.74 Impact Factor