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Print version ISSN 0123-9392


HERNANDEZ-TORRES, Alicia et al. Visceral leishmaniasis in Murcia: Multicentric study 1997-2013 . Infect. [online]. 2015, vol.19, n.1, pp.24-30. ISSN 0123-9392.

Introduction: The prevalence of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), an endemic parasitic infection in the Mediterranean basin, can be affected by migratory movements. Objective: To analyze VL cases evaluated at several hospitals in the Murcia region. Methods: Retrospective, multicentric study of VL cases; patients were grouped into two time periods: period A (pA: 1997-2005) and period B (pB: 2006-2013). Results: A total of 97 VL cases were analyzed (75% men, mean age 35 years), 36 of them in pA and 61 in pB; 11% and 22% of the patients were foreigners in pA and pB, respectively (10 from sub-Saharan Africa); 55% suffered from some type of immunosuppression (80% HIV). The most common clinical manifestations were fever (85%) and asthenia (66%). The mean duration of symptoms before the first medical contact was 47 days and the average time between the first contact and the microbiological confirmation was 13 days. The most common finding on physical examination was splenomegaly (89%), whereas thrombocytopenia was the most frequent laboratory finding (78%). Diagnoses were confirmed by detection of amastigotes and/or PCR of bone marrow aspiration (BMA) in 61%; in the remaining 39% of cases, BMA was negative and additional samples were necessary (bone marrow, lymph node, larynx, colon, parotid and amygdala biopsy, PCR of blood samples, serology or urine antigen detection). The most commonly used treatment was liposomal amphotericin B (71%), followed by glucantime (27%) and amphotericin B lipid complex (1%). A total of 16 recurrent cases (11 in AIDS patients), were bserved. Conclusions: Although this is a retrospective study and despite better control of HIV infection, we have observed an increase in the frequency of VL cases in our region, which is probably related to migratory flows.

Keywords : Visceral leishmaniasis; Leishmania infantum; Emerging infectious diseases; Vector-borne diseases.

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