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Pediatric Visceral Leishmaniasis Caused by Leishmania infantum in Northern Cyprus

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  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu Governmental Hospital, Nicosia, Cyprus.
  • | 2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinic Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus.
  • | 3 Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Corum, Turkey.
  • | 4 Parasitology Unit, Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a vector-borne disease widespread in the Mediterranean basin, including Cyprus. During the last decades no cases were notified from northern Cyprus, but herein three cases of VL (female: 2, male: 1, median age: 24.6 months) diagnosed during their hospital admission between January 2011 and December 2012 are reported. Diagnosis was based on clinical findings; 1 ≥ 1/64 titer positivity of immunofluorescence antibodies, Leishmania amastigotes in Giemsa-stained slides of bone marrow, as well as molecular identification confirmed that in all three the infecting pathogen was Leishmania infantum. Fever, splenomegaly, and hepatomegaly were the typical clinical findings. First-line treatment with liposomal amphotericin B (AmBisome®; intravenous, 3 mg/kg) on days 1–5, followed by the same on days 10 and 21 yielded a successful outcome with no relapse in all cases. These confirmed VL cases found within 2 years demonstrate the presence of VL on the island.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Aysegul Taylan Ozkan, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit University, Camlik Caddesi No:2, Bahçelievler 19200, Corum, Turkey. E-mail: aysegultaylanozkan@hitit.edu.tr

Authors' addresses: Ayse Sayili, Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu Governmental Hospital, Nicosia, Cyprus, E-mail: aysesayili@yahoo.com. Aysegul Taylan Ozkan, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Hitit Universitesi, Camlik Cad. No:2, Bahçelievler 19200, Corum, Turkey, and Department of Medical Microbiology and Clinic Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Near East University, Nicosia, Cyprus, E-mail: aysegultaylanozkan@hitit.edu.tr. Henk D. F. H. Schallig, Parasitology Unit, Department of Medical Microbiology, Academic Medical Centre, Meibergdreef 9, 1105 AZ Amsterdam, The Netherlands, E-mail: h.d.schallig@amc.nl.

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