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The epidemiology and surveillance of visceral leishmaniasis in the Campania region of Italy. The value of zymodeme typing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 May 2009

L. Gradoni
Affiliation:
Department of Parasitology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome
R. Pizzuti
Affiliation:
Regional Epidemiology Unit, Naples
L. di Martino
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale Pausilipon, Naples;
M. Gramiccia
Affiliation:
Department of Parasitology, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome
R. Pempinello
Affiliation:
Department of Infectious Diseases, Ospedale Cotugno, Naples
G. B. Gaeta
Affiliation:
Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Naples
M. Ferrara
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Naples
S. Scotti
Affiliation:
Department of Paediatrics, University of Naples
S. Altieri
Affiliation:
Department of Infectious Diseases, Ospedale Cotugno, Naples
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Summary

Although human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a notifiable disease in Italy, there is evidence that the actual number of cases is far higher than that notified. A programme for active surveillance of VL in the 14 Italian endemic regions was launched by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità. We report data collected during a 3-year period of active surveillance in Campania, a south Tyrrhenian region covering 4·5% of the Italian territory. Out of 120 clinically suspected cases referred to medical and diagnostic references centres, there were 52 confirmed VL cases (17·3/year), i.e. 10-fold more than previously notified. Most of the infection sites were in rural areas or peripheral districts of towns in hilly parts of Naples province. An epidemic cluster of 10 cases was identified in a microfocus of Caserta province. The biochemical analysis of 23 Leishmania stocks showed a zymodeme composition indicating Campania as an old and well-established focus of VL. The data obtained emphasize that the present notification system for VL in Italy is inadequate.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1993

References

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