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Effectiveness of the Brazilian Visceral Leishmaniasis Surveillance and Control Programme in reducing the prevalence and incidence of Leishmania infantum infection.

Parasit Vectors; 11(1): 586, 2018 Nov 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30419944


Control strategies adopted by the Brazilian Visceral Leishmaniasis Surveillance and Control Programme (VLSCP) include identifying and culling seropositive infected dogs, early diagnosis and treatment of human cases, chemical control of the vector and population awareness. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the VLSCP on the prevalence and incidence rates of Leishmania infantum in children residing in areas under different VLSCP intervention times.


A quasi-experimental epidemiological study with a panel (two cross-sectional) and a concurrent cohort was performed in three areas of Belo Horizonte, southeast Brazil. The first cross-sectional study (I) was carried out with 1875 children, 478 of which were enrolled in the cohort study. In the second cross-sectional study (II), 413 additional children were included, totalizing 891 children. Laboratory diagnosis was performed by ELISA-rK39. Analyses included multilevel logistic and Poisson regression models.


The incidence rates of L.infantum infection were: 14.4% in the area where VLSCP intervention was initiated in 2006 (AI2006); 21.1% in the area where intervention was initiated in 2008 (AI2008); and 11.6% in the area where intervention was initiated in 2010 (AI2010 - control area). A follow-up period of 24 months showed that the persons-time incidence rates in AI2006, AI2008, and AI2010 were: 6.2/100, 10/100, and 5.6/100 persons/24 months, respectively. The final prevalence rates of infection (cross-sectional II - in 2012), compared to the initial rates (cross-sectional I - in 2010), increased 83.7% in AI2006, 74.1% in AI2008, and decreased 5% in AI2010. Analysis of the effectiveness revealed that children residing in AI2008 are more likely to be infected (OR = 1.84; 95% CI: 1.06-3.23) and present a higher risk of infection (IRR = 1.76; 95% CI: 1.05-2.95) compared to those in AI2010. No statistically significant differences were observed in asymptomatic infection (OR and IRR) in AI2006 compared to AI2010.


The VLSCP was not effective at controlling L. infantum infection in areas where interventions had respectively been carried out for six and four years. However, it is unclear what the consequences in terms of human infection and diseases would be in the absence of the VLSCP. Efforts to improve the effectiveness of control measures remain a necessary priority.