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J Infect Dev Ctries. 2008 Feb 1;2(1):24-33.

Animal reservoirs for visceral leishmaniasis in densely populated urban areas.

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Secretaria Municipal de Saúde, Prefeitura Municipal de Ribeirão das Neves, Ribeirão das Neves, MG, Brazil.


Leishmaniasis is a zoonotic disease of major public health and veterinary importance, affecting 88 countries with up to 2 million cases per year. This review emphasizes the animal reservoirs and spreading of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in urban areas, particularly in two Brazilian metropolitan areas, namely São Luis and Belo Horizonte, where the disease has become endemic in the past few years. Urbanization of visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil during the last decades has created favorable epidemiological conditions for maintenance of the disease, with dense human populations sharing a tropical environment with abundant populations of the mammalian reservoir and the invertebrate vector, facilitating transmission of the disease.

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