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Beschreibung des Verlags

Introduction Visceral leishmaniasis, popularly known as kala-azar in Indian subcontinent is a vector-borne disease caused by the trypanosomatid parasite Leishmania donovani in the Indian subcontinent and is transmitted by Phlebotomus argentipes (1). According to WHO report about 50,000 cases occur annually. India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Brazil alone accounts for 90% of the global cases. This disease affects mainly socially marginalized and the poorest communities. In Bangladesh, India and Nepal, approximately 200 million people are 'at risk' of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in more than 109 districts (2). The WHO classify leishmaniasis as an 'emerging or uncontrolled disease' and indicate that the research focus should be for category I diseases3 aiming towards 'the acquisition of new knowledge and the design of new disease control tools and systems'. India launched the kala-azar elimination programme with effect from December 2003 with the objective of eliminating the disease by 2015. Current disease control programmes in India and world over are focused on the prophylactic and therapeutic use of anti-leishmanial drugs. Pentavalent antimonal drugs are widely used for the treatment of VL and there is a possibility of development of resistance to these drugs and the longer treatment regime has associated side-effects. Current vector control programme in India focuses mainly on spraying the sandfly-infested dwellings with DDT.

Gesundheit, Körper und Geist
1. September
Indian Council of Medical Research

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