Volume 79, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Outcomes of infection with range from self-resolving infection to visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Risk factors determining development of disease are not totally understood, but probably include environmental influences and host genetics. We assessed whether nutrition influenced the outcome of infection by comparing relatives of children with VL with either self-resolving spp. infection or apparently uninfected households. We observed a decrease in body mass index ( < 0.0005) and mid-upper arm circumference for age ( = 0.022) z-scores for children with VL. Levels of vitamin A were lower in active children with VL as measured by serum retinol ( = 0.035) and the modified-relative-dose-response test ( = 0.009). Higher birth weight ( = 0.047) and albumin concentrations ( = 0.040) protected against disease. Increased breastfeeding time ( = 0.036) was associated with asymptomatic infection. The results indicate that modifiable nutritional aspects are associated with the outcome of spp. infection in humans.


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  • Received : 25 Mar 2008
  • Accepted : 30 May 2008

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