[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a predominantly rural disease, common in the low lands of eastern Nepal. Since 1997 VL cases have also been reported among residents of the city of Dharan. Our main research objective was to find out whether there had been local transmission of VL inside the city. METHODS: We conducted an outbreak investigation including a case--control study; cases were all urban residents treated for VL between 2000 and 2008 at BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences, a university hospital in the city. For each case, we selected four random controls, with no history of previous VL; frequency-matched for age. Cases and controls were subjected to a structured interview on the main exposures of interest and potential confounders; a binominal multilevel model was used to analyze the data. We also collected entomological data from all neighborhoods of the city. RESULTS: We enrolled 115 VL patients and 448 controls. Cases were strongly clustered, 70% residing in 3 out of 19 neighborhoods. We found a strong association with socio-economic status, the poorest being most at risk. Housing was a risk factor independent from socio-economic status, most at risk were those living in thatched houses without windows. 'Sleeping upstairs' and 'sleeping on a bed' were strongly protective, OR of 0.08 and 0.25 respectively; proximity to a case was a strong risk factor (OR 3.79). Sand flies were captured in all neighborhoods; in collections from several neighborhoods presence of L. donovani could be demonstrated by PCR. CONCLUSION: The evidence found in this study is consistent with transmission of anthroponotic VL within the city. The vector P. argentipes and the parasite L. donovani have both been identified inside the town. These findings are highly relevant for policy makers; in VL endemic areas appropriate surveillance and disease control measures must be adopted not only in rural areas but in urban areas as well.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The insecticide residue on two types of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN), Olyset Net and PermaNet 2.0, used in a visceral leishmaniasis-endemic village in eastern Nepal was quantified using HPLC. After two washes during 18 months of use the mean insecticide residues on PermaNet 2.0 and Olyset Net were 53.5 mg/m(2) (97.3% of the target dose) of deltamethrin and 911.8 mg/m(2) (91.2% of the target dose) of permethrin, respectively. These residues were close to the insecticide loads specified by the manufacturers of the two LLINs. The use of LLINs has been postulated as an alternative or complementary method to indoor residual spraying. Our results suggest that LLINs should be washed 4-5 times each year throughout their lifespan by specifically requesting villagers to wash nets on certain dates. The insecticide residue on the nets and their bioefficacy against sand fly vectors should be monitored after each wash, in various cultural settings, to assess their durability and long-term retention of the insectide.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 02/2012; 106(4):230-4. · 1.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis is the world' second largest vector-borne parasitic killer and a neglected tropical disease, prevalent in poor communities. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LNs) are a low cost proven vector intervention method for malaria control; however, their effectiveness against visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is unknown. This study quantified the effect of LNs on exposure to the sand fly vector of VL in India and Nepal during a two year community intervention trial.
As part of a paired-cluster randomized controlled clinical trial in VL-endemic regions of India and Nepal we tested the effect of LNs on sand fly biting by measuring the antibody response of subjects to the saliva of Leishmania donovani vector Phlebotomus argentipes and the sympatric (non-vector) Phlebotomus papatasi. Fifteen to 20 individuals above 15 years of age from 26 VL endemic clusters were asked to provide a blood sample at baseline, 12 and 24 months post-intervention.
A total of 305 individuals were included in the study, 68 participants provided two blood samples and 237 gave three samples. A random effect linear regression model showed that cluster-wide distribution of LNs reduced exposure to P. argentipes by 12% at 12 months (effect 0.88; 95% CI 0.83-0.94) and 9% at 24 months (effect 0.91; 95% CI 0.80-1.02) in the intervention group compared to control adjusting for baseline values and pair. Similar results were obtained for P. papatasi.
This trial provides evidence that LNs have a limited effect on sand fly exposure in VL endemic communities in India and Nepal and supports the use of sand fly saliva antibodies as a marker to evaluate vector control interventions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anthroponotic visceral leishmaniasis, transmitted by Phlebotomus argentipes Annandale & Brunetti (Diptera: Psychodidae) sand flies, is regarded as a major problem of public health importance in the Indian subcontinent. Understanding the feeding behavior of the vector can be used to investigate changes in human-vector contact during intervention programs. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was modified to make it suitable to identify the origin of P. argentipes and Phlebotomus papatasi Scopoli (Diptera: Psychodidae) blood meals. The sensitivity and specificity of the precipitin ring test and ELISA were compared, as well as the stability of the tests across different stages of blood meal digestion. The ELISA was more sensitive and specific than the precipitin test for identifying the sources of blood meals. When using the ELISA method with a plate reader, it was possible to obtain 100% sensitivity and specificity. When comparing the techniques across digestion stages, it was found that there was a drop in sensitivity, 48 and 72 h postblood meal for precipitin and visually read ELISA, respectively. However, the sensitivity of the ELISA using a plate reader was not altered by the digestion time. The feeding habits of P. argentipes and P. papatasi from the Terai region of Nepal, determined by the ELISA developed, showed P. papatasi to be highly anthropophilic, and P. argentipes appeared to feed both on humans and animals, in particular bovines.
Journal of Medical Entomology 09/2010; 47(5):902-6. · 1.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the DDT and deltamethrin susceptibility of Phlebotomus argentipes, the vector of Leishmania donovani, responsible for visceral leishmaniasis (VL), in two countries (India and Nepal) with different histories of insecticide exposure.
Standard WHO testing procedures were applied using 4% DDT and 0.05% deltamethrin impregnated papers. The effect of the physiological status (fed and unfed) of females on the outcome of the bioassays was assessed and the optimal time of exposure for deltamethrin was evaluated on a colony population. Field populations from both countries were tested.
Fed and unfed females responded in a similar way. For exposure time on field samples 60 min was adopted for both DDT and deltamethrin. In Bihar, knockdown and mortality with DDT was respectively 20 and 43%. In Nepal almost all sand flies were killed, except at the border with Bihar (mortality 62%). With 0.05% deltamethrin, between 96 and 100% of the sand flies were killed in both regions.
Based on literature and present data 4% DDT and 0.05% deltamethrin seem to be acceptable discriminating concentrations to separate resistant from susceptible populations. Resistance to DDT was confirmed in Bihar and in a border village of Nepal, but the sand flies were still susceptible in villages more inside Nepal where only synthetic pyrethroids are used for indoor spraying. The low effectiveness of indoor spraying with DDT in Bihar to control VL can be partially explained by this resistance hence other classes of insecticides should be tested. In both countries P. argentipes sand flies were susceptible to deltamethrin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) control in the Indian subcontinent is currently based on case detection and treatment, and on vector control using indoor residual spraying (IRS). The use of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LN) has been postulated as an alternative or complement to IRS. Here we tested the impact of comprehensive distribution of LN on the density of Phlebotomus argentipes in VL-endemic villages.
A cluster-randomized controlled trial with household P. argentipes density as outcome was designed. Twelve clusters from an ongoing LN clinical trial--three intervention and three control clusters in both India and Nepal--were selected on the basis of accessibility and VL incidence. Ten houses per cluster selected on the basis of high pre-intervention P. argentipes density were monitored monthly for 12 months after distribution of LN using CDC light traps (LT) and mouth aspiration methods. Ten cattle sheds per cluster were also monitored by aspiration.
A random effect linear regression model showed that the cluster-wide distribution of LNs significantly reduced the P. argentipes density/house by 24.9% (95% CI 1.80%-42.5%) as measured by means of LTs.
The ongoing clinical trial, designed to measure the impact of LNs on VL incidence, will confirm whether LNs should be adopted as a control strategy in the regional VL elimination programs. The entomological evidence described here provides some evidence that LNs could be usefully deployed as part of the VL control program.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Observational studies in the Indian subcontinent have shown that untreated nets may be protective against visceral leishmaniasis (VL). In this study, we evaluated the effect of untreated nets on the blood feeding rates of Phlebotomus argentipes as well as the human blood index (HBI) in VL endemic villages in India and Nepal. The study had a 'before and after intervention' design in 58 households in six clusters. The use of untreated nets reduced the blood feeding rate by 85% (95% CI 76.5-91.1%) and the HBI by 42.2% (95% CI 11.1-62.5%). These results provide circumstantial evidence that untreated nets may provide some degree of personal protection against sand fly bites.
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz 12/2009; 104(8):1183-6. · 1.36 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Monitoring Leishmania infection in sand flies is important for understanding the eco-epidemiology of kala-azar and assessing the impact of the recently launched kala-azar control programme in the Indian subcontinent. We applied a PCR technique that targets rRNA genes to estimate the natural incidence of Leishmania infection in sand flies sampled in six villages of the Terai region of Nepal. Amplifications were made on 135 pools of sand flies and confirmed by sequencing. Seven pools were found to be PCR positive: in five of them we identified the rDNA signature found in Leishmania spp., whereas two other pools revealed a sequence compatible with other trypanosomatids. Different methodologies were applied to evaluate the infection rate from pools of unequal size and estimated the infection rate to range from 0.468% to 0.578% for the Leishmania group and from 0.185% to 0.279% for the non-Leishmania group. Our results highlight the diversity of flagellate infections likely to be encountered in Phlebotomus argentipes populations. Our methodology allows clear discrimination of Leishmania from other trypanosomatids and should be applied on larger insect samples or in longitudinal studies.
Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene 05/2009; 103(11):1087-92. · 1.82 Impact Factor