Pediatric visceral leishmaniasis in Western Sicily, Italy: a retrospective analysis of 111 cases

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Abstract

The clinical and epidemiological characteristics of 111 consecutive cases of visceral leishmaniasis identified from 1980 to 2000 in a Sicilian pediatric hospital were analyzed retrospectively. The mean age of the patients was 1.7 years. All children were HIV negative, but 15% were severely malnourished. Fever and splenomegaly were present in all cases and hepatomegaly in 101 (90.1%) cases. Thrombocytopenia and anemia were both observed in 78 (70.2%) cases and leukopenia in 47 (42.3%) cases. A bone marrow aspirate was obtained in all cases; Leishmania amastigotes were detected in 89 (80.2%) cases. Initial treatment consisted of meglumine antimoniate in 99 (89.2%) patients and amphotericin B in 12 (10.8%) patients. Only two children treated with meglumine antimoniate relapsed. The findings highlight the differences between the cases of visceral leishmaniasis observed in the Mediterranean basin and those observed in other regions. The use of the term "Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis", rather than the term "kala-azar", is proposed for cases observed in the Mediterranean area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-282
Number of pages6
JournalEUROPEAN JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY & INFECTIOUS DISEASES
Volume21
Publication statusPublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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