PREVALENCE OF VISCERAL LEISHMANIASIS AMONG ADULTS IN SANA’A CITY-YEMEN
Background and Aims: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a zoonotic and human disease caused by species of Leishmania. Parasites are transmitted to the vertebrate host by the bite of a sand fly female (Phlebotomus longipalpis), where the infected promastigotes transform into amastigotes; and this is deadly if left untreated. The purposes of the current research were to reveal the prevalence and potential risk factors for VL in adults in Sana’a city, Yemen.
Subjects and methods: This cross-sectional study was performed during the period from January 2020 to November 2020. Individuals who come for a regular medical examination at Al-Zahrawi Medical Center, Althobhani Specialist Laboratories, Police Hospital, and University of Science and Technology Hospital. A target sample size of 300 was selected, and serum samples were collected from all subjects to determine the prevalence of anti-VL antibodies in human by immune-chromatographic assay using K39 recombinant antigen.
Results: The ages of the participants' ranged from 18-65 years, with a mean of 29.8±8.2 years. The positive rate of antibodies against Leishmania species by immune-chromatographic dipstick strip (rK39) was 6.0%. There was statistically important association linking male gender and contracting VL (8.8%, OR=4.1, CI=1.2-14.4, P=0.01). There was a significant association (<0.001) between the presence of dogs, rats, and goats in or around live houses and positive VL antibodies with an OR equal to 18.104.22.168 and 8.4, respectively. There were significant risk factors for garbage around the living house, there was also a significant association between displacement and the incidence of VL (P<0.001) (OR=8.6, CI=2.8–27.2).
Conclusion: Visceral leishmaniasis was highly prevalent in Sana'a city, and potential risk factors for VL were present with displacement, dogs, rats, goats, garbage, sleeping outside enclosed rooms, and sand flies in living houses. Further studies of human VL need to be conducted to clarify this issue in Yemen, to track and confirm potential reservoirs among canines and other animals, as well as to study vectors.
Keywords: adults, immune-chromatographic assay, prevalence, potential risk factors, recombinant antigen K39, Sana’a city, visceral leishmaniasis, Yemen.
Peer Review History:
Received: 9 March 2022; Revised: 14 April; Accepted: 29 April, Available online: 15 May 2022
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Average Peer review marks at initial stage: 6.0/10
Average Peer review marks at publication stage: 7.0/10