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Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Pakistan: a neglected disease needing one health strategy

Abstract Background Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) is a neglected tropical disease, which mainly affects poor communities. It is one of the major vector-borne disease and endemic in Pakistan. Methods A case-control study to evaluate potential risk factors of human-CL was conducted in Khewra region, District Jhelum, Pakistan from January–April 2014. Case data about 90 cases registered during October 2012 to November 2013 was retrieved from Municipal Hospital. Controls were matched (1,1 ratio) on the date of registration with cases from same hospital. Both cases and controls were invited to participate and data was collected in a face-to-face interview. A prospective study of canine leishmaniasis (canine-CL) was also conducted at Civil Veterinary Hospital in the same area. Suspected dogs with skin ulceration signs were included in the study and blood samples were collected. Statistical analyses were conducted to determine association between various parameters and outcome of interest. Results The ages of cases ranged from 1 to 76 years (median = 15 years) and proved to be protective factor i.e. increase in each year in age reduced the likelihood of being infected with human-CL [Odds Ratio (OR) = 0.4, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 0.25–0.76]. People sleeping outsides in an open area were more likely to become a case (OR = 8.7, 95% CI = 2.90–26.37) than a control. Poor sanitary condition inside the house (OR = 3.3, 95% CI 1.03–10.56) and presence of other animals in house (livestock, poultry) (OR = 3.6, 95% CI = 1.07–12.12) also identified as risk factors of high significance. The proportion of positive dogs with canine-CL was 21.05% and was significantly associated with human-CL cases in the same area (p < 0.05). Conclusions We concluded that adopting self-protections measures against sand-fly, and maintaining good hygiene may lower the risk of human-CL. One-Health Strategy is suggested to control leishmaniasis in human and dog population.

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Journal Article
Kayani B
Sadiq S
Rashid HB
Ahmed N
Mahmood A
Khaliq MS
Maqsood R
Rashid H
Hasan S
Mushtaq MH
Zia U
Chaudhry M