• Effectiveness of miltefosine in cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania tropica in Pakistan after antimonial treatment failure or contraindications to first line therapy-A retrospective analysis.

      Kamink, S; Masih, B; Ali, N; Ullah, A; Khan, SJ; Ashraf, S; Pylypenko, T; Grobusch, MP; Fernhout, J; den Boer, M; et al. (Public Library of Science, 2021-01-28)
      Background: Cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) is a neglected tropical skin disease, caused by Leishmania protozoa. In Pakistan, where CL caused by L. tropica is highly endemic, therapy with pentavalent antimonials is the standard of care, but has significant toxicity when used in systemic therapy, while are no evidence-based safer alternative treatment options for L. tropica. The efficacy of oral miltefosine has not been studied in CL caused by L. tropica. We evaluated effectiveness and tolerability of miltefosine in patients with previous treatment failure or with contraindications to systemic antimonial treatment. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of a cohort of CL patients who were treated with a 28-day course of miltefosine between December 2017 and August 2019, in urban Quetta, Pakistan, an area endemic for L. tropica. Descriptive analyses were performed, and effectiveness was assessed by initial response after treatment, and final cure at routine follow up visits, six weeks to three months post-treatment. Tolerability was assessed by routinely reported adverse events. Results: Of the 76 CL patients in the cohort, 42 (55%) had contraindications to systemic antimonial treatment, and 34 (45%) had failure or relapse after antimonial treatment. Twelve patients defaulted during treatment and 12 patients were lost to follow up. In the remaining 52 patients, final cure rate was 77% (40/52). In those with contraindications to systemic antimonial treatment the final cure rate was 83% (24/29) and in the failure and relapse group 70% (16/23). Twenty-eight patients (40.0%) reported 39 mild to moderate adverse events with the main complaints being nausea (41.0%), general malaise (25.6%), and stomach pain (12.8%). Conclusion: Results indicate that miltefosine is an effective second line treatment in CL in areas endemic for L. tropica. Prospective studies with systematic follow up are needed to obtain definitive evidence of effectiveness and tolerability, including identification of risk factors for miltefosine treatment failure.
    • Sonographic findings in visceral leishmaniasis – A narrative review

      Belard, S; Stratta, E; Zhao, A; Ritmeijer, K; Moreto-Planas, L; Fentress, M; Nadimpalli, A; Grobusch, MP; Heller, T; Heuvelings, CC (Elsevier We regret that this article is behind a paywall., 2020-11-20)
      Background Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is predominantly a neglected tropical parasitic disease but may also be acquired by travellers. We aimed at summarizing knowledge on sonographic presentation of VL to better understand sonographic features of VL. Methods PubMed was searched for studies and case reports presenting original data on sonographic findings of VL, published before August 13th, 2019. Demographic, clinical, and sonographic data were extracted and summarized in a qualitative approach. Results A total of 36 publications were included in this review; 27 of these were case reports and the remainder were prospective or retrospective studies. No study reported systematic cross-sectional comparative imaging. Overall, publications reported on 512 patients with VL of whom 12 were reported HIV-infected. Spleno- and hepatomegaly were the most frequently reported findings. Further relevant and repeatedly reported findings were splenic and hepatic lesions, abdominal lymphadenopathy, pleural and pericardial effusion and ascites. Reported focal splenic lesions were heterogeneous in size, shape, and echogenicity. Several publications reported gradual diminution and resolution of sonographic findings with VL treatment. Conclusion Available literature on sonographic findings of VL is limited. Available reports indicate that spleno- and hepatomegaly, free fluid, abdominal lymphadenopathy, and focal splenic lesions may be common sonographic features in patients with VL. Because of the apparent overlap of sonographic features of VL, extrapulmonary tuberculosis and other conditions, interpretation of sonographic findings needs to be made with particular caution.