Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
ROMERO, Marlyn H.; LOPEZ, Myriam C. and SANCHEZ, Jorge A.. An active search for cases of zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis in indigenous Colombian children and the canine population. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.6, pp.944-951. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642009000600010.
Objectives Carrying out an active search for cases of canine and human zoonotic visceral leishmaniasis (LVZ) by determining IgG antibodies against Leishmania infantum by indirect immunofluorescence (IFAT) and assessing the risk factors associated with the disease occurring in a Colombian endemic area. Methods 580 indigenous children aged less than five and 270 cross-bred dogs from 5 rural areas near the town of Coyaima (Tolima) were evaluated by determining their antibodies using the Colombian Leishmania infantum (infantum) MOHOM/ COL/CLO44B strain as antigen. 527 households in the area were sur-veyed to assess the risk factors and protective measures being taken. Results No sero reactivity to Leishmania infantum antigens by IFAT test was observed in the child population. Leishmania infantum antibodies were observed in 68.5 % of the dogs (185/270). The survey found deficiencies in the housing's sanitary conditions. The use of in-secticide-impregnated bed-nets was evident in 48 % (130/270) of the dwellings, as were poor knowledge of the disease and a low demand for traditional medical services (41.5 %). Conclusions Control measures must be strengthened for interrupting the reservoir- vector-human transmission chain, evaluating health authorities' strategies for promoting protective habits and improving living conditions and the susceptible population's envi-ronment.
Keywords : Canine visceral leishmaniasis; serological test; Colombia.