Volume 65, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


We conducted a quasi-experimental study to compare the response to meglumine antimoniate in patients with localized cutaneous leishmaniasis from two endemic areas of Brazil that were infected by two Leishmania species. Sixty-one were infected by Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis (group B) and 57 by L. (V.) guyanensis (group G). All had a parasitologically proven diagnosis and were treated with 20 mg of pentavalent antimonial (SbV)/kg/day given intravenously or intramuscularly for 20 days. Main outcomes were diagnosed using clinical criteria three months after treatment and patients were followed for six months. Intention-to-treat analysis showed a higher failure rate in group G (relative risk [RR] = 1.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.1-2.0, chi2 = 7.44, P = 0.006). The analysis using an explanatory approach including 52 patients from group B and 49 from group G, who were regularly treated and followed for six months, showed a low cure rate (50.8% in group B and 26.3% in group G) with a greater risk of failure in the latter group (RR = 1.7, 95% CI = 1.2-2.5, chi2 = 8.56, P = 0.003). The effect of the etiologic agent remained significant after adjusting for age, disease duration, and site and number of lesions that were identified as predictors of failure in a logistic regression model. We concluded that Leishmania species constitute an important factor in predicting the outcome of cutaneous leishmaniasis treated with a pentavalent antimonial.


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