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Domestic Animals and Epidemiology of Visceral Leishmaniasis, Nepal

By Narayan Raj Bhattarai, Gert Van Der Auwera, Suman Rijal, Albert Picado, Niko Speybroeck, Basudha Khanal, Simonne De Doncker, Murari Lal Das, Bart Ostyn, Clive Davies, Marc Coosemans, Dirk Berkvens, Marleen Boelaert and Jean-claude Dujardin


On the Indian subcontinent, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is considered an anthroponosis. To determine possible reasons for its persistence during interepidemic periods, we mapped Leishmania infections among healthy persons and animals in an area of active VL transmission in Nepal. During 4 months (September 2007–February 2008), blood was collected from persons, goats, cows, and buffaloes in 1 village. Leishmania infections were determined by using PCR. We found infections among persons (6.1%), cows (5%), buffaloes (4%), and goats (16%). Data were georeferenced and entered into a geographic information system. The bivariate K-function results indicated spatial clustering of Leishmania spp.–positive persons and domestic animals. Classifi cation tree analysis determined that among several possible risk factors for Leishmania infection among persons, proximity of Leishmania spp.–positive goats ranked fi rst. Although our data do not necessarily mean that goats constitute a reservoir host of L. donovani, these observations indicate the need for further investigation of goats ’ possible role in VL transmission

Year: 2013
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