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Ramesh V.,VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital India | Kaushal H.,Safdarjung Hospital Campus India | Mishra A.K.,AIIMS India | Singh R.,Safdarjung Hospital Campus India | Salotra P.,Safdarjung Hospital Campus India
BMC Public Health | Year: 2015

Background: Patients with Post kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) are considered a reservoir of Leishmania donovani. It is imperative to identify and treat them early for control of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), a current priority in the Indian subcontinent. We explored trends in clinico-epidemiological features of PKDL cases over last two decades, for improving management of the disease. Methods: Clinically suspected cases were diagnosed with rK39 strip test followed by parasitological confirmation by microscopy and/or PCR/qPCR in skin tissue/slit aspirates. Patients were treated with antimonials till 2008 and subsequently with miltefosine. Results: The study indicated higher incidence of PKDL cases in areas of high endemicity for VL, with 20 % cases reporting no history of VL. Approximately 26 % cases of PKDL were initially misdiagnosed at primary health centers. Duration between onset of PKDL and diagnosis was above 12 months in 80 % cases. Diagnostic sensitivity was 32-36 % with microscopy and 96-100 % with PCR/qPCR. Compliance to treatment was over 85 % with miltefosine while 15 % with antimonials. Relapse rate with miltefosine was up to 13.2 %. Conclusions: PKDL patients tend to delay reporting and are often misdiagnosed. Confirmatory diagnosis using minimally invasive skin slit aspirate samples would help overcome such issues. There was a paradigm shift in compliance with miltefosine; however, increasing relapse rate indicated the need for newer therapies with oral formulations. © 2015 Ramesh et al.

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