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Spatial analysis of Leishmania donovani exposure in humans and domestic animals in a recent kala azar focus in Nepal

By Basudha Khanal, Albert Picado, Narayan Raj Bhattarai, Murari Lal Das, Bart Ostyn, Gert Van Der Auwera, Clive Richard Davies, Marleen Boelaert, Jean-Claude Dujardin, Suman Rijal

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Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a major public health problem in the Indian subcontinent where the Leishmania donovani transmission cycle is described as anthroponotic. However, the role of animals (in particular domestic animals) in the persistence and expansion of VL is still a matter of debate. We combined Direct Agglutination Test (DAT) results in humans and domestic animals with Geographic Information System technology (i.e. extraction maps and scan statistic) to evaluate the exposure to L. donovani on these 2 populations in a recent VL focus in Nepal. A Poisson regression model was used to assess the risk of infection in humans associated with, among other factors, the proportion of DAT-positive animals in the proximities of the household. The serological results showed that both humans and domestic animals were exposed to L. donovani. DAT-positive animals and humans were spatially clustered. The presence of serologically positive goats (IRR=9.71), past VL cases (IRR=2.62) and the proximity to a forest island dividing the study area (IRR=3.67) increased the risk of being DAT-positive in humans. Even if they are not a reservoir, domestic animals, and specially goats, may play a role in the distribution of L. donovani, in particular in this new VL focus.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2010
Publication Title Parasitology
Volume 137
Issue 11
Pages 1597-1603
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Location of Publication The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road Cambridge CB2 8RU United Kingdom
DOI 10.1017/S0031182010000521
URL http://dspace.itg.be/handle/10390/6297
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animals in culture
  2. Cats
  3. Diseases
  4. Dogs
  5. Domestic animals
  6. Health
  7. Horses
  8. Mammals
  9. Nepal
  10. Protozoa
  11. risk factors
  12. Rodents