Diagnosis, detection and surveillance

© Sajid Mualsad, Pakistan, 2012
© Sajid Mualsad, Pakistan, 2012
A robust surveillance system is an essential component of control or elimination programmes

Diagnosis of visceral Leishmaniasis is made by combining clinical signs with parasitological or serological tests (rapid diagnostic tests and others). In cutaneous and mucocutaneous Leishmaniasis, serological tests have limited value. In cutaneous Leishmaniasis, clinical manifestation with parasitological tests confirm the diagnosis.

A robust surveillance system is an essential component of control or elimination programmes. Two forms of surveillance – passive and active case-detection or searches – are mainly applied in disease control programmes.

‘Passive case detection’ is detection triggered by patients seeking care for their illness from clinicians working in static health facilities. Clinicians who manage a case should notify it to the appropriate epidemiological surveillance system. WHO recommends the use of the standard case definitions to detect the cases.

‘Active case detection’ or search means that health staff reach out to the community and systematically screen the population to find cases of Leishmaniasis. Active case search is an essential component of the visceral Leishmaniasis elimination strategy on the Indian subcontinent. It helps to reduce disease transmission by shortening the infectious period of patients; and earlier diagnosis and treatment improves treatment outcomes of patients.

Leishmaniasis in the news

22 September 2015 | Geneva
Kala-azar elimination programme. Report of a WHO consultation of partners. Geneva, Switzerland, 10–11 February 2015

02 June 2015 | Geneva
Cutaneous leishmaniasis: control in selected countries of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean and African Regions. Report of an interregional network meeting, Casablanca, Morocco, 23–24 June 2014

02 June 2015 | Geneva
Leishmaniasis: strengthening cross-border collaboration for control in central Asian and middle-eastern countries of the WHO European and Eastern Mediterranean Regions
Report of a bi-regional meeting, Awaza, Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan, 18–20 November 2014