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Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2012 Jun;15(2):298-307.

Time series of visceral leishmaniasis in Aracaju, state of Sergipe, Brazil (1999 to 2008): human and canine aspects.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

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  • 1Núcleo de Vigilância Epidemiológica de Agravos transmissíveis, Coordenação Estadual de Vigilância Epidemiológica, Secretaria Estadual de Saúde, Aracaju, Sergipe.



Considered as a neglected disease by the WHO, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) has expanded and urbanized. Its transmission and expansion have been linked to several factors.


To evaluate the epidemiological aspects of VL in the city of Aracaju/SE, through retrospective studies of the historical series of human and canine VL in the 1999-2008 period.


Secondary data from SINAN (Information System for Reportable Diseases) for human cases were used. Data from canine surveys and from the Zoonosis Control Center's (ZCC) passive demand were used for canine cases.


192 autochthonous cases of human VL were reported, and 63.5% were male. Children aged 1-4 years were the most affected (29.2%), followed by adults aged 20-29 years (15.6%) and children aged 5-9 years (15.1%). General mortality was 8.9%, and it was higher for the 60-69 year age group (60%); 32.3% of autochthonous cases performed serology for HIV, with a 6.9% positivity. Laboratory results were confirmed mostly by indirect isolated immunofluorescence (71.1%). 58,161 dogs were serologically tested for VL, with a positivity rate of 5.4%, while 87.0% of the surveys conducted annually by the ZCC, have a 4.4%positivity rate for VL. Of the 7,501 dogs that were brought to the ZCC for multiple complaints, the serological test was positive in 12.0%.


Data show the endemicity of VL in the city, revealing the need for actions to reduce the risk of the population, mostly for the group with higher incidence and mortality, such as improvement in the diagnosis of VL and its HIV-associated infection, along with monitoring of the dog population, among others.

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