Volume 86, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is endemic in large cities in Brazil, including Natal. We determined the prevalence of asymptomatic human infection with and associated environmental risks around Natal. Infection was detected by Leishmania skin test (LST) and anti-leishmanial antibodies in humans and anti-leishmanial antibodies in dogs. Amongst 345 humans, 24.6% were seropositive, and 38.6% were LST-positive. Prevalence of positive serology was similar in both sexes and across all ages. However, positive LST responses increased with age, suggesting that LST is long-lasting and cumulative. Multinomial logistic analysis showed that LST response varied with location ( = 0.007) and that males were more frequently LST-positive ( = 0.027). Indicators of lower socioeconomic status associated significantly with human infection. Furthermore, there was geographic coincidence of seropositive humans and dogs ( = 0.7926, = 0.011). These data suggest that dog and human infection are intimately interrelated in environmental conditions associated with low income.


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  • Received : 06 Sep 2010
  • Accepted : 14 Jul 2011
  • Published online : 01 Jan 2012

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