DAVIES, Clive R.; KAYE, Paul; CROFT, Simon L. et al. Leishmaniasis: new approaches to disease control. British Medical Journal, London, v. 326, n. 7385, p. 377-82, 15 Feb. 2003.
The leishmaniasis afflict the world’s poorest populations. Among the two million new cases each year in the 88 countries where the disease is endemic, it is estimated that 80% earn less than $2 a day. Human infections with Leishmania protozoan parasites, transmitted via the bite of a sandfly, cause visceral, cutaneous, or mucocutaneous leishmaniasis. The global burden of leishmaniasis has remained stable for some years, causing 2.4 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs) lost and 59 000 deaths in 2001. Neglected by researchers and funding agencies, leishmaniasis control strategies have varied little for decades, but in recent years there have been exciting advances in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention. These include an immunochromatographic dipstick for diagnosing visceral leishmaniasis; the licensing of miltefosine, the first oral drug for visceral leishmaniasis; and evidence that the incidence of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in children can be reduced by providing dogs with deltamethrin collars. There is also hope that the first leihsmaniasis vaccine will become available within a decade. Here we review these developments and identify priorities for research.