Re-Emerging foci of visceral leishmaniasis in Armenia - first molecular diagnosis of clinical samples

Sukiasyan, A., Keshishyan, A., Manukyan, D., Melik-Andreasyan, G., Atshemyan, L., Apresyan, H., Strelkova, M., Marcus Frohme, S Cortes, Katrin  Kuhls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) was firstly reported in Armenia in 1913. Following a considerable increase of the number of cases until the mid 1950s, the disease disappeared after 1969 and re-emerged in 1999. Scientific literature about VL in Armenia is available only in Russian or Armenian. This paper presents a historical overview about leishmaniasis in Armenia based on this literature as well as an epidemiological update since the re-emergence of the disease. In 1999-2016, 116 indigenous VL cases were recorded mainly in children in 8 of the 11 districts, however, VL is underreported because of lack of trained medical personal and diagnostic facilities. The aim of this work was to apply for the first time molecular diagnosis of VL in Armenia. Out of 25 VL suspected patients, 22 were positive by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Genotyping using internal transcribed spacer 1-PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism and sequencing identified the causative agent of VL in Armenia as Leishmania infantum. The present work is an important step towards the inclusion of molecular techniques in the current diagnosis of VL in Armenia and the establishment of local molecular diagnostic facilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalParasitology
VolumeVol. 146
Issue numbern.º 7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • Leishmania infantum
  • Emerging infectious diseases
  • Molecular diagnosis
  • Molecular typing
  • Neglected tropical diseases
  • Visceral leishmaniasis
  • Southern caucasus region
  • Armenia

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