PCR- Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) is a time saving and accurate technique to differentiate closely related organisms. In the regions endemic for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in India, various species of morphological similar sand fly exists but only female Phlebotomus argentipes is the vector for VL. In the present study primers were designed targeting the 18S rRNA encoding gene that showed amplification in all the major sand fly species found in India. The amplified fragments were further digested using the Hinf I or Hpa II restriction enzymes. Each of the restriction enzyme produced species specific restriction patterns, which can easily be used to identify specific sand fly species. This technique can be employed in the identification of the species of the sand flies.
18S rRNA; Leishmaniasis; PCR; Phlebotomine; RFLP; Sand fly
Regional variations in susceptibility of Leishmania donovani clinical isolates have been reported to antimonials but not other antileishmanial drugs. Therefore, we evaluated the susceptibility of four antileishmanial drugs in clinical use in 28 clinical isolates from endemic and non-endemic regions in the J774A.1 macrophage cell line, and we found increased tolerance of miltefosine and paromomycin in isolates from a patient from a high endemic region. Effective dose for 90% killing (ED90) values were significantly higher for miltefosine (P = 0.005) and paromomycin (P = 0.02) in isolates from the high endemic region, although there were no significant differences between ED50 values for paromomycin, miltefosine, and amphotericin B in the non- versus endemic region isolates. This report is the first of higher ED90 values for miltefosine and paromomycin indicating susceptibility difference between regions for these newly introduced drugs by the parasite, and their use should be carefully monitored through directly observed therapy or multidrug treatment to preserve their efficacy for longer periods.
We discuss the clinical and imaging perspective in a case of a 78-year-old male who developed slurring of speech and ataxia acute in onset for the last 3 days. During his hospital stay, he developed multiple episodes of focal seizures without secondary generalization involving the angle of mouth on the right side. The patient had ataxia and positive cerebellar signs. In the past, the patient was treated for amoebic liver abscess and had undergone percutaneous aspiration of abscess. The patient was prescribed oral metronidazole and was discharged. This time, the patient underwent magnetic resonance imaging examination, which revealed lesion highly suggestive of metronidazole-induced encephalopathy. The offending drug was discontinued immediately after which the patient improved clinically. A follow-up scan was performed after 12 days and showed complete resolution of lesions.
Diffusion-weighted imaging; fluid-attenuated inversion-recovery; metronidazole-induced encephalopathy; magnetic resonance imaging
Chromosome 6q26–27 is linked to susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil and Sudan. DLL1 encoding the Delta-like 1 ligand for Notch 3 was implicated as the etiological gene. DLL1 belongs to the family of Notch ligands known to selectively drive antigen-specific CD4 T helper 1 cell responses, which are important in protective immune response in leishmaniasis. Here we provide further genetic and functional evidence that supports a role for DLL1 in a well-powered population-based study centred in the largest global focus of VL in India. Twenty-one single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at PHF10/C6orf70/DLL1/FAM120B/PSMB1/TBP were genotyped in 941 cases and 992 controls. Logistic regression analysis under an additive model showed association between VL and variants at DLL1 and FAM120B, with top associations (rs9460106, OR=1.17, 95%CI 1.01–1.35, P=0.033; rs2103816, OR=1.16, 95%CI 1.01–1.34, P=0.039) robust to analysis using caste as a covariate to take account of population substructure. Haplotype analysis taking population substructure into account identified a common 2-SNP risk haplotype (frequency 0.43; P=0.028) at FAM120B, while the most significant protective haplotype (frequency 0.18; P=0.007) was a 5-SNP haplotype across the interval 5’ of both DLL1 (negative strand) and FAM120B (positive strand) and extending to intron 4 of DLL1. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare expression of 6q27 genes in paired pre- and post-treatment splenic aspirates from VL patients (N=19). DLL1 was the only gene to show differential expression that was higher (P<0.0001) in pre- compared to post-treatment samples, suggesting that regulation of gene expression was important in disease pathogenesis. This well-powered genetic and functional study in an Indian population provides evidence supporting DLL1 as the etiological gene contributing to susceptibility to VL at Chromosome 6q27, confirming the potential for polymorphism at DLL1 to act as a genetic risk factor across the epidemiological divides of geography and parasite species.
visceral leishmaniasis; DLL1; genetic association; Notch signalling
To identify susceptibility loci for visceral leishmaniasis we undertook genome-wide association studies in two populations; 989 cases and 1089 controls from India, and 357 cases in 308 Brazilian families (1970 individuals). The HLA-DRB1-HLA-DQA1 locus was the only region to show strong evidence of association in both populations. Replication at this region was undertaken in a second Indian population comprising 941 cases and 990 controls, resulting in Pcombined=2.76×10−17 and OR(95%CI)=1.41(1.30-1.52) across the three cohorts at rs9271858. A conditional analysis provided evidence for multiple associations within the HLA-DRB1-HLA-DQA1 region, and a model in which risk differed between three groups of haplotypes better explained the signal and was significant in the Indian discovery and replication cohorts. In conclusion the HLA-DRB1-HLA-DQA1 HLA class II region contributes to visceral leishmaniasis susceptibility in India and Brazil, suggesting shared genetic risk factors for visceral leishmaniasis that cross the epidemiological divides of geography and parasite species.
Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease, and in the Indian subcontinent the female Phlebotomus argentipes is the vector for Leishmania donovani. However, data on the extent of sand fly infection rates in natural settings using molecular methods have not been extensively reported in India. In this study a PCR technique was applied targeting the 18S rRNA encoding region to determine the prevalence of Leishmania infection in female P. argentipes captured in the field. For this study, sand flies were collected from 897 houses selected from 50 villages endemic for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Muzaffarpur district, Bihar state, using CDC miniature light traps and mouth aspirators. A total of 14,585 sand flies were collected of which 449 were female P. argentipes divided into 132 pools. Molecular detection using PCR targeting the 18S rRNA gene was carried out for the identification of P. argentipes and Leishmania. The overall prevalence of infection was 4.90–17.37% for L. donovani in female P. argentipes in endemic regions of Bihar state. In this study no correlation was found between the presence of infected sand flies and the occurrence of clinical VL. This study provides the first report evaluating the prevalence of Leishmania infection in sand flies in a region endemic for VL in India. Sergentomyia species are the most common species of sand fly. Knowledge of the infection rate in female P. argentipes may help in predicting severity of disease and in vector elimination programs.
Leishmania donovani; Phlebotomus argentipes; 18S rRNA; Gene; PCR; Sand fly; Visceral leishmaniasis
Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) is a life threatening neglected infectious disease in the Indian subcontinent, transmitted by the bite of female sand flies. Estimation of the infectivity in the vector population, collected in different seasons, may be useful to better understanding the transmission dynamics of VL as well as to plan vector control measures.
We collected sand flies from highly endemic regions of Bihar state, India for one year over three seasons. The species of the sand flies were confirmed by species-specific PCR-RFLP. Leishmania donovani infection was investigated in 1397 female Phlebotomus argentipes using PCR, targeting the Leishmania specific minicircle of the kDNA region. Further, the parasitic load in the infected sand flies was measured using quantitative PCR.
Though sand flies were most abundant in the rainy season, the highest rate of infection was detected in the winter season with 2.84% sand flies infected followed by the summer and rainy seasons respectively. This study can help in vector elimination programmes and to reduce disease transmission.
Despite several drawbacks, rK39-based rapid immunochromatographic test is widely used for the diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in the Indian subcontinent. There is an urgent need to develop a better antigen. In this study we separated crude soluble antigens of Leishmania donovani by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and hybridized with pool sera from pre- and post-treated VL patients, 6 months follow-up, endemic healthy (EHC), and nonendemic healthy controls (NEHC) by Western blotting. The sensitivity of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with identified protein was 95% (confidence interval [CI] = 89.6–98.01%), whereas the specificity for EHC, NEHC, and different disease groups were 96.3% (CI = 89.8–98.6%), 100% (CI = 95.8–100%), and 97.4% (CI = 91.02–99.3%), respectively. This specific antigen was subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and after tryptic digestion, antigen was characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Further analysis showed that it is a member of the heat shock protein family of 70 kDa, designated as BHUP1, and has great potential in the diagnosis of VL.
Amphotericin B (AmB), is a highly effective antileishmanial agent used as first-line treatment in different formulations in visceral leishmaniasis endemic areas of Bihar, India. However, parenteral infusion, prolonged hospitalization, and toxicity are major hurdles. Our previous work demonstrated the efficacy and stability of functionalized carbon nanotubes as a delivery mechanism for AmB. In this study, using the hamster model, we have shown that this novel formulation of AmB can be administered orally, resulting in 99% inhibition of parasite growth following a 5-day course at 15 mg/kg body weight.
The mechanisms underlying the failure to contain the growth of Leishmania parasites in human visceral leishmaniasis (VL) are not understood. L donovani amastigotes were quantified in cultured splenic aspirate cells to assess the function of IL-10 in lesional tissue ex vivo. In 67 patients with active VL, IL-10 neutralization promoted parasite killing in 73% and complete clearance in 30%, while 18% had more parasites and 9% did not change. The splenic cells secreted increased levels of both tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) and interferon γ (IFNγ) under IL-10-neutralizing conditions. These findings provide direct support for targeting IL-10 as an approach to therapy in human VL.
This study evaluates commercially available rK39 Immunochromatographic (ICT) strips using urine for diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Freshly collected urine and serum samples of 280 parasitologically confirmed VL patients and 66 endemic healthy control (EHC), 48 non-endemic healthy controls (NEHC) and 45 different diseases (DD) were tested with rK39 strips. The sensitivity of rK39 in urine were 96.4% while the specificity was low varying from 66.7% in EHC, 77.08% in NEHC to 62.2% in DD, With serum, sensitivity was 100% whereas the specificity was 100%, 92.4% and 95.55% for respective control group. In its present format, the ICT strips cannot be used for the diagnosis of VL using urine samples.
rK39 ICT; Visceral leishmaniasis; Urine; diagnosis
A patient with visceral leishmaniasis showing indequate response to amphotericin-B belonging to non-endemic region is reported, with L. donovani showing increased tolerance to amphotericin-B in vivo. Four SNPs, detected in the cysteine proteinase B gene, resulted in changes to the deduced amino acid sequence: Valine→Alanine, Arginine→Leucine. Over and under expression of protein/s was observed in 65-80 kDa range and 20 kDa, respectively.
Congenital left ventricular diverticulum is a rare cardiac malformation characterized by a localized out-pouching from the cardiac chamber. They are most often found in the left ventricle (LV) but have been reported to occur in all chambers of the heart. The patient is usually asymptomatic. However, complications like embolism, infective endocarditis, arrhythmia and, rarely, rupture may be the initial presentation. Diagnosis can be established by echocardiography (EKG), computed tomographic (CT) angiography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We report a case of congenital left ventricular diverticulum in an adult with no valvular abnormality as an incidental finding in an uncommon location.
Cantrell; cardiac; congenital; CT coronary angiography; ECG; left ventricular diverticulum
This study describes the antileishmanial efficacy of the novel drug formulation of amphotericin B (AmB) attached to functionalized carbon nanotubes (f-CNTs) and compares it with AmB.
f-CNTs were prepared in a two-step chemical carboxylation and amidation process. The AmB was then attached to make f-CNT–AmB and its construction was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The cytotoxicity of the constructed compound, f-CNT–AmB, was assessed in vitro using the J774A.1 macrophage cell line and in vivo using healthy BALB/c mice. Antileishmanial activity of AmB and f-CNT–AmB was assessed in vitro using a macrophage (J774A.1 cell line) model of Leishmania donovani infection. Antileishmanial activity was assessed in vivo by comparing the parasite load of hamsters treated with a 5 day course of AmB, f-CNTs or f-CNT–AmB initiated at 30 days after infection with L. donovani parasites.
The FTIR spectroscopy and TEM data demonstrate the successful attachment of AmB to f-CNTs. The in vitro cytotoxicity of AmB, f-CNTs and f-CNT–AmB was measured by the cytotoxic concentration required to kill 50% of the cells: 0.48 ± 0.06 μg/mL; 7.31 ± 1.16 μg/mL; 0.66 ± 0.17 μg/mL, respectively, in the J774A.1 cell line. The in vivo toxicity assessment of the compounds in BALB/c mice revealed no hepatic or renal toxicity. Against intracellular amastigotes the in vitro antileishmanial efficacy of f-CNT–AmB was significantly higher than that of AmB (IC50 0.00234 ± 0.00075 μg/mL versus 0.03263 ± 0.00123 μg/mL; P ≤ 0.0001). The percentage inhibition of amastigote replication in hamsters treated with f-CNT–AmB was significantly more than that with AmB (89.85% ± 2.93% versus 68.97% ± 1.84%; P = 0.0004).
The results of these experiments clearly demonstrate that f-CNT–AmB has significantly greater antileishmanial efficacy than AmB and had no significant cytotoxic effects.
L. donovani; nanomedicine; VL
The case of a patient with visceral leishmaniasis showing inadequate response to amphotericin B from a region where leishmaniasis is not endemic is reported, with the Leishmania donovani isolate showing increased tolerance to amphotericin B in vivo. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) detected in the cysteine proteinase B gene resulted in changes to the deduced amino acid sequence: valine→alanine and arginine→leucine. Overexpression and underexpression of proteins were observed in the 65- to 80-kDa range and at 20 kDa, respectively.
IL8RA and IL8RB, encoded by CXCR1 and CXCR2, are receptors for interleukin (IL)-8 and other CXC chemokines involved in chemotaxis and activation of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). Variants at CXCR1 and CXCR2 have been associated with susceptibility to cutaneous and mucocutaneous leishmaniasis in Brazil. Here we investigate the role of CXCR1/CXCR2 in visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in India.
Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs4674259, rs2234671, rs3138060) that tag linkage disequilibrium blocks across CXCR1/CXCR2 were genotyped in primary family-based (313 cases; 176 nuclear families; 836 individuals) and replication (941 cases; 992 controls) samples. Family- and population-based analyses were performed to look for association between CXCR1/CXCR2 variants and VL. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare CXCR1/CXCR2 expression in mRNA from paired splenic aspirates taken before and after treatment from 19 VL patients.
Family-based analysis using FBAT showed association between VL and SNPs CXCR1_rs2234671 (Z-score = 2.935, P = 0.003) and CXCR1_rs3138060 (Z-score = 2.22, P = 0.026), but not with CXCR2_rs4674259. Logistic regression analysis of the case-control data under an additive model of inheritance showed association between VL and SNPs CXCR2_rs4674259 (OR = 1.15, 95%CI = 1.01-1.31, P = 0.027) and CXCR1_rs3138060 (OR = 1.25, 95%CI = 1.02-1.53, P = 0.028), but not with CXCR1_rs2234671. The 3-locus haplotype T_G_C across these SNPs was shown to be the risk haplotype in both family- (TRANSMIT; P = 0.014) and population- (OR = 1.16, P = 0.028) samples (combined P = 0.002). CXCR2, but not CXCR1, expression was down regulated in pre-treatment compared to post-treatment splenic aspirates (P = 0.021).
This well-powered primary and replication genetic study, together with functional analysis of gene expression, implicate CXCR2 in determining outcome of VL in India.
SLC11A1 has pleiotropic effects on macrophage function and remains a strong candidate for infectious disease susceptibility. 5' and/or 3' polymorphisms have been associated with tuberculosis, leprosy, and visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Most studies undertaken to date were under-powered, and none has been replicated within a population. Association with tuberculosis has replicated variably across populations. Here we investigate SLC11A1 and VL in India.
Nine polymorphisms (rs34448891, rs7573065, rs2276631, rs3731865, rs17221959, rs2279015, rs17235409, rs17235416, rs17229009) that tag linkage disequilibrium blocks across SLC11A1 were genotyped in primary family-based (313 cases; 176 families) and replication (941 cases; 992 controls) samples. Family- and population-based analyses were performed to look for association between SLC11A1 variants and VL. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare SLC11A1 expression in mRNA from paired splenic aspirates taken before and after treatment from 24 VL patients carrying different genotypes at the functional promoter GTn polymorphism (rs34448891).
No associations were observed between VL and polymorphisms at SLC11A1 that were either robust to correction for multiple testing or replicated across primary and replication samples. No differences in expression of SLC11A1 were observed when comparing pre- and post-treatment samples, or between individuals carrying different genotypes at the GTn repeat.
This is the first well-powered study of SLC11A1 as a candidate for VL, which we conclude does not have a major role in regulating VL susceptibility in India.
SLC11A1; visceral leishmaniasis; genetic susceptibility
Genome wide linkage studies (GWLS) have provided evidence for loci controlling visceral leishmaniasis on Chromosomes 1p22, 6q27, 22q12 in Sudan and 6q27, 9p21, 17q11-q21 in Brazil. Genome wide studies from the major focus of disease in India have not previously been reported.
Methods and Findings
We undertook a GWLS in India in which a primary ∼10 cM (515 microsatellites) scan was carried out in 58 multicase pedigrees (74 nuclear families; 176 affected, 353 total individuals) and replication sought in 79 pedigrees (102 nuclear families; 218 affected, 473 total individuals). The primary scan provided evidence (≥2 adjacent markers allele-sharing LOD≥0.59; nominal P≤0.05) for linkage on Chromosomes 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 20 and X, with peaks at 6p25.3-p24.3 and 8p23.1-p21.3 contributed to largely by 31 Hindu families and at Xq21.1-q26.1 by 27 Muslim families. Refined mapping confirmed linkage across all primary scan families at 2q12.2-q14.1 and 11q13.2-q23.3, but only 11q13.2-q23.3 replicated (combined LOD = 1.59; P = 0.0034). Linkage at 6p25.3-p24.3 and 8p23.1-p21.3, and at Xq21.1-q26.1, was confirmed by refined mapping for primary Hindu and Muslim families, respectively, but only Xq21.1-q26.1 replicated across all Muslim families (combined LOD 1.49; P = 0.0045). STRUCTURE and SMARTPCA did not identify population genetic substructure related to religious group. Classification and regression tree, and spatial interpolation, analyses confirm geographical heterogeneity for linkages at 6p25.3-p24.3, 8p23.1-p21.3 and Xq21.1-q26.1, with specific clusters of families contributing LOD scores of 2.13 (P = 0.0009), 1.75 (P = 0.002) and 1.84 (P = 0.001), respectively.
GWLS has identified novel loci that show geographical heterogeneity in their influence on susceptibility to VL in India.
Objective To test the effectiveness of large scale distribution of longlasting nets treated with insecticide in reducing the incidence of visceral leishmaniasis in India and Nepal.
Design Paired cluster randomised controlled trial designed to detect a 50% reduction in incidence of Leishmania donovani infection.
Setting Villages in Muzaffarpur district in India and Saptari, Sunsari, and Morang districts in Nepal.
Participants 13 intervention and 13 control clusters. 12 691 people were included in the analysis of the main outcome (infection), and 19 810 were enrolled for the secondary (disease) end point.
Intervention Longlasting insecticidal nets (treated with deltamethrin) were distributed in the intervention clusters in December 2006.
Main outcome measures Infection was determined by direct agglutination test at 12 and 24 months after the intervention in those who had negative results (titre <1:1600) at baseline. The effect estimate was computed as the geometric mean of the risk ratios for seroconversion for each cluster pair (net/no net), with its 95% confidence interval. Formal tests of effect of no intervention were obtained with a paired t test.
Results There was no significant difference in the risk of seroconversion over 24 months in intervention (5.4%; 347/6372) compared with control (5.5%; 345/6319 people) clusters (risk ratio 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.49 to 1.65) nor in the risk of clinical visceral leishmaniasis (0.99, 0.46 to 1.40). Adjustment for covariates did not alter these conclusions.
Conclusions There is no evidence that large scale distribution of longlasting insecticidal nets provides additional protection against visceral leishmaniasis compared with existing control practice in the Indian subcontinent. The observed effect was small and not significant, though the confidence intervals did not exclude a 50% change in either direction.
Trial registration Clinical Trials NCT 2005-015374.
Prior to a community-based efficacy trial of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) in the prevention of visceral leishmaniasis (VL; also called kala-azar), a pilot study on preference of tools was held in endemic areas of India and Nepal in September 2005.
LLINs made of polyester and polyethylene were distributed to 60 participants, who used the nets sequentially for 7 d. Acceptability and preference were evaluated via indirect indicators through questionnaires at three defined time points before and after use of the LLINs and through focus group discussions (FGDs). In the latter, preferences for color and size were also assessed. Untreated bed nets were owned by 87% of the households prior to the study. All users liked textures of both LLIN types after 7 d of use, but had a slight preference for those made of polyester if they were to recommend a LLIN to relatives or friends (p<0.05), mainly because of their relatively greater softness in comparison to polyethylene LLINs. Users reported that both net types reduced mosquito bites and number of insects, including sand fly (bhusana; genus Phlebotomus), inside the house. Side effects were minor and disappeared quickly.
The large-scale intervention trial considered the preferences of the study population to decide on the best tool of intervention—light-blue, rectangular, polyester LLINs of different sizes.
Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a neglected, life-threatening, vector-borne disease. More than 90% of the reported VL cases occur in the Sudan and the Indian subcontinent, where it is considered a problem of great public health importance. To improve its control, which is currently mainly based on case detection and treatment, research is needed on preventive measures, such as the use of bed nets impregnated with long-lasting insecticide (LLINs). Prior to an efficacy trial on LLINs, we conducted a pilot study to assess community preferences for size, color, and texture of bed nets. Such an acceptance study aims at evaluating user preferences as a way to maximize usage and, consequently, to anticipate how effective a control tool might become. That pilot study concluded that different textures and colors of LLIN are accepted by users, although there was a slight preference for the softer polyester net. These results were utilized in the large-scale efficacy trial in order to maximize the coverage, uptake, and use of the LLINs.
Used with blood or serum, a new anti-K39 antibody immunochromatographic strip test (IT-Leish; DiaMed AG) proved sensitive (range, 99 to 100%) and specific (range, 95 to 100%) for the noninvasive serodiagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis in India. Used with serum, the IT-Leish test and the existing Kalazar Detect test (InBios International, Inc.) yielded comparable results for symptomatic infection and identified apparent subclinical infection in 15 to 32% of healthy residents in a region where visceral leishmaniasis is highly endemic.
To test short course, low dose liposomal amphotericin B as single or daily infusion treatment in Indian visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar).
Randomised, open label study.
Inpatient unit for leishmaniasis in Bihar, India.
91 adults and children with splenic aspirate positive for infection.
Total dose of 5 mg/kg of liposomal amphotericin B given as a single infusion (n=46) or as once daily infusions of 1 mg/kg for five days (n=45).
Main outcome measures
Clinical and parasitological cure assessed 14 days after treatment and long term definitive cure (healthy, no relapse) at six months.
All but one person in each group had an initial apparent cure. During six months of follow up, three patients in the single dose group and two in the five dose group relapsed. Complete response (definitive cure) was therefore achieved in 84 of 91 subjects (92%): 42 of 46 patients in the single dose group (91%, 95% confidence interval 79% to 98%) and 42 of 45 in the five dose group (93%, 82% to 99%). Response rates in the two groups were not significantly different.
Low dose liposomal amphotericin B (5 mg/kg), given either as a five day course or as a single infusion, seems to be effective for visceral leishmaniasis and warrants further testing.
What is already known on this topicPentavalent antimony is now ineffective against visceral leishmaniasis in IndiaLiposomal amphotericin B is effective but high cost prohibits its use in developing countriesWhat this study addsLiposomal amphotericin B (5 mg/kg), given as a single infusion or five daily infusions of 1 mg/kg, cured 92% of patientsIf proved effective in larger trials, low dose regimens could make the drug more affordable