The usefulness of trained field workers in diagnosis of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) and clinico-epidemiological profile in highly endemic areas of Bihar.

Research paper by Vidya N R VNR Das, Niyamat A NA Siddiqui, Krishna K Pandey, Chandra S CS Lal, Sanjay K SK Sinha, Sanjiva S Bimal, Roshan K RK Topno, Shubhankar K SK Singh, Sunil S Kumar, Pradeep P Das

Indexed on: 30 Mar '19Published on: 29 Mar '19Published in: Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Surveillance of post-kala-azar dermal leishmaniasis (PKDL) is critical to the elimination of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). In this study we assessed the feasibility of using trained field workers for detecting suspected PKDL cases. A cross-sectional study using a multistage sampling technique was conducted in the Araria district of Bihar. Trained field workers were utilized for identification of suspected PKDL case. We investigated 57 099 individuals from 11 300 households. The trained field workers were useful in identifying 107 (18%) probable PKDL cases. The calculated PKDL prevalences were 18.7/10 000 and 9.7/10 000 for probable and confirmed PKDL cases, respectively. The median duration of onset of PKDL was 23 months (interquartile range 16.5-56.5). The younger age group developed PKDL significantly more often compared with the older age group (p=0.007). Of the 107 patients, 25 (55.5%) were positive by microscopy of slit skin smear and 42 (93.3%) by polymerase chain reaction. Of 45 patients, 33 (73%) PKDL cases were cured after full treatment. The risk of not being cured with incomplete treatment was three times higher than with complete treatment (relative risk 3.12 [95% confidence interval 1.23 to 8.67], p=0.004). We conclude that the prevalence of PKDL is high and the use of trained field workers may be feasible to actively detect PKDL cases in VL-endemic areas of Bihar, India. © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

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