Clinically, leishmaniasis is of three types—visceral leishmaniasis (VL) or kala-azar, cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis (MCL). Post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is considered as a complication of VL. VL is characterized by fever, anemia and splenomegaly in a VL-endemic area (malaria excluded). A subject with such symptoms should be subjected to an rK39 strip test. Confirmation of diagnosis is made by demonstration of the parasite (Leishmania donovani) from samples obtained by aspiration of bone marrow or iliac crest puncture. Miltefosine, stibogluconate, amphotericin B, liposomal amphotericin B and paromomycin are effective available anti-leishmaniasis drugs. Vector (Phleblotomus argentipes) control for reduction of transmission and early diagnosis and complete treatment are essential elements of case management. There is no effective vaccine against VL. This review on VL aims at providing state-art knowledge on epidemiology, diagnosis and case-management and vaccine development.
Part of the book: Leishmaniases as Re-emerging Diseases