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Drug News Perspect. 2002 Sep;15(7):417-431.

Visceral Leishmaniasis: Clinical Features, Pathology, Diagnosis and Chemotherapeutic Developments.


Visceral leishmaniasis, or kala-azar, is a chronic disease caused by Leishmania donovani, Leishmania chagasi or Leishmania infantum. The disease is transmitted through the bite of a species of sandfly of the genus Phlebotomus, releasing amastigote parasites that invade various organs of the body and eventually result in such conditions as anemia, splenomegaly and hepatomegaly. Although no vaccine exists for the disease, diagnostic techniques based not only on pathological tests, but more sophisticated detectors such as polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, latex agglutination and immunochromatographic strip testing have been developed. Traditional treatment for the disease consists of two pentavalent antimonial drugs, sodium stibogluconate and meglumine antimoniate, but the growing resistance to these drugs has compelled scientists to search for new efficient compounds. (c) 2002 Prous Science. All rights reserved.

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