Volume 48, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Twenty-four Kenyan patients with visceral leishmaniasis were treated for 30 days with either conventional therapy (daily pentavalent antimony, n = 14) or experimental immunochemotherapy (daily antimony plus interferon-gamma [IFN-γ] every other day, n = 10). All 24 patients responded clinically to treatment, and microscopic splenic aspirate scores rapidly decreased in both groups. As judged by splenic aspirate culture results, IFN-γ-treated patients responded more quickly (50% versus 22% culture-negative after one week and 75% versus 58% culture-negative after two weeks). While not statistically significant, these differences raise the possibility that combination therapy using IFN-γ, which was safe and well-tolerated, may accelerate the early parasitologic response in patients with visceral leishmaniasis.


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