Volume 96, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The World Health Organization's (WHO) recommendation is 28-day course of meglumine antimoniate (Glucantime, Sanofi Aventis, France) for the treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a shorter duration of treatment in regions with low level of resistance to Glucantime. During 13 years, this study was conducted in three phases on 392 patients. In the pilot first phase, we performed splenic punctures in seven patients to assess the correlation between the changes in the parasite load during treatment with Glucantime and defervescence. With defervescence, parasite density was dramatically dropped ( = 0.014), propounding defervescence as a marker of parasitological response. On the basis of the results, we conducted a randomized trial on 75 patients, comparing the efficacy of continuation of Glucantime therapy for 1, 2, or 3 weeks after defervescence. The treatment course of 1 week after defervescence (mean = 11.7 days) was non-inferior to that of 3 weeks (final cure rate, 96% versus 100%; = 0.023). The third phase was a retrospective cohort study of 302 patients treated either with the WHO's regimen or for 7 days after defervescence (intervention group). Relapse was detected in 8.3% patients of the intervention group and in 5% patients following the WHO's regimen ( = 0.006 for non-inferiority). The final duration of treatment in intervention group was significantly shorter than standard course (13.3 ± 2.6 versus 28 days; < 0.001). In summary, treatment of VL with Glucantime for 1 week after defervescence was non-inferior to and appears to be an acceptable alternative to the standard 28-day course for patients in Iran who show a response to antimonial therapy.


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  • Received : 01 May 2016
  • Accepted : 06 Sep 2016
  • Published online : 11 Jan 2017

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