Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/16270
Leishmania infantum infection after visiting southern Spain in patients on biological treatment; an observational, longitudinal, cohort study
Travel Med Infect Dis. 2023 May-Jun;53:102570.
Background: Reports of leishmaniasis in immunosuppressed patients after visiting the Mediterranean Basin are becoming increasingly common. Still, awareness of the risk of infection and its clinical manifestations may be insufficient among healthcare professionals in the travellers' home countries. Methods: This observational, longitudinal study included 47 patients from Sweden with rheumatic disease and ongoing immunomodulatory treatment, who visited a rehabilitation centre in southern Spain where leishmaniasis is endemic. Patients were evaluated for clinical signs of leishmaniasis at baseline and after three years. Patients with leishmaniasis were followed for 4-5 years. The treatment outcome was assessed by clinical evaluation and determination of the cell-mediated immunological response to Leishmania by a whole blood cytokine release assay. Results: Seven patients (15%) were diagnosed with leishmaniasis. The median time from exposure to the onset of symptoms was 3 [1-17] months. The median delay between the onset of symptoms and treatment start was 9 [1-12] months. All patients with leishmaniasis responded well to treatment. Only one patient had a relapse, which occurred within the first year. Conclusion: Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the increased risk of leishmaniasis for travellers who are immunosuppressed. Knowledge of the symptoms is crucial for a timely diagnosis and early treatment.
Leishmaniasis | Immunosuppression | Rheumatic disease | Biological treatment | Tumour necrosis factor alpha inhibitor | Travel medicine
Leishmania infantum | Leishmaniasis | Leishmaniasis, Visceral | Humans | Spain | Longitudinal Studies | Cohort Studies
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