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Biological Health Hazard – Leishmaniasis Disease Outbreak: Tocantinópolis, Tocantins State, Brazil


Published Date: 2017-09-05 18:33:45
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Leishmaniasis – Brazil: (TO) humans, dogs
Archive Number: 20170905.5296383

Date: Tue 5 Sep 2017
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

In the state of Tocantins, in the Northern region of Brazil, officials are reporting an outbreak of visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar in the city of Tocantinópolis.

According to a G1 report (computer translated), the city is on alert after reporting more than 400 cases in dogs and 9 in humans since the beginning of the year [2017]. This year, so far, there are 50 suspicious notifications. A total of 5 cases were confirmed in adults and 4 in children younger than 10 years. There were 12 human cases in all of last year [2016].

But the biggest concern, according to the Epidemiological Surveillance Coordination is regarding the cases in animals, which are hosts of the disease. That’s because the villagers do not want to hand over the animals to be sacrificed. Of the 407 who had a positive diagnosis, only 277 were sacrificed.

“The veterinarians say it has a cure and treatment, but it is very expensive. So we have very high dog positivity and the people do not want to give the dogs the treatment, “explained coordinator Maria Vandecy Soares Ribeiro.

According to the World Health Organization, over 90 percent of visceral leishmaniasis cases occur in 6 countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, South Sudan and Sudan. Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease found in parts of the tropics, subtropics, and southern Europe. Leishmaniasis has several different forms. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most serious manifestation, which affects some of the internal organs of the body (such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow).

VL is predominantly transmitted through the bite of an infected female phlebotomine sand fly, although congenital and parenteral transmission (through blood transfusions and needle sharing) have been reported.

[Byline: Robert Herriman]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[The most common Leishmania subspecies responsible for Visceral Leishmanaiasis in Brazil is _L. infantum_ with the dog, _Canis familiaris_ and other canines _Lycalopex vetulus_, _Cerdocyon thous_, _Didelphis albiventris_ as reservoirs (Alvar J, Vélez ID, Bern C, et al. Leishmaniasis Worldwide and Global Estimates of Its Incidence. 2012, PLoS ONE 7(5): e35671, The infection is transmitted to humans by the sandfly, different subspecies of _Lutzomyia_.

Tocantinópolis is located in the north eastern part of Brazil, and area with the highest incidence of VL in Brazil. An increase can be due to several factors like increasing density of household dogs, increase in the wild, canine or rodent reservoir and increasing density of the sandfly vector. Also, VL is an HIV-related infection and it is important to know that the new cases are not HIV related. – Mod.EP

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Leishmaniasis – Brazil (03): atypical Leishmania parasite: 20161210.4689688
Leishmaniasis – Brazil (02): new sandfly vect susp, Psathyromyia elizabethdorvalae 20161101.4600154
Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil: (MG) children 20161029.4593491
Leishmaniasis – USA: new guidelines, IDSA 20161124.4651450
Leishmaniasis, cutaneous – Colombia: (NS) alert 20160429.4192208
Leishmaniasis – Uruguay: (SA) canine, alert 20160122.3952222

Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil (02): (SP) 20151205.3841901
Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil: (MS) 20151024.3740484

Leishmaniasis – Brazil: (MS) 20140118.2182680

Leishmaniasis, canine – Brazil: (MG) 20121111.1404680

Leishmaniasis, human – Brazil (MG) 20100211.0487

Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil: (MT), human, canine 20090123.0290

Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil (03): (DF), human, canine 20081130.3766
Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil (02): (Mato Grosso), background 20080127.0338
Leishmaniasis, visceral – Brazil: (Mato Grosso) 20080125.0314

Leishmaniasis – Brazil (RJ) 20070508.1477

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases


Disease information from Wikipedia. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL)
Disease information from World Health Organization, Leishmaniasis (Fact sheet N°375)


Leishmaniasis Geographic Distribution

Leishmaniasis Geographic Distribution. Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) (also known as kala-azar): fatal without treatment. Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL): usually presents as ulcers on exposed body parts. Image: DNDi

~ 350 million people are at risk of leishmaniasis.
~ Visceral leishmaniasis affects poor populations living in remote areas of over 80 countries across Asia, East Africa, South America, and the Mediterranean region.
~ 90% of new VL cases occurred in seven countries – Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan – represent over
~ The majority of CL cases occur in nine countries, with the majority of cases occurring in Afghanistan, Algeria, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Source: Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) – About Leishmaniasis

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