Epidemiology of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in a Colombian Municipality

Diego Alejandro Medina-Morales Grupo de Investigación en Farmacoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira-Audifarma S.A, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

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Manuel E. Machado-Duque Grupo de Investigación en Farmacoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira-Audifarma S.A, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

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Jorge Enrique Machado-Alba Grupo de Investigación en Farmacoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira-Audifarma S.A, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia

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This study describes the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of leishmaniasis and the pharmacological treatment of this disease in the municipality of Pueblo Rico, Risaralda, between January 2010 and December 2014. An observational study was conducted using information from the clinical records and epidemiological reports of patients diagnosed and confirmed with leishmaniasis of any age and sex, including sociodemographic, clinical, and pharmacological variables of the therapy received. Univariate and bivariate analyses were performed. A total of 539 cases of leishmaniasis were confirmed, with 29.5% occurring in children under 5 years of age. The median age was 10 years, with predominance in males (55.5%). The indigenous Emberá (aboriginal Americans) were the most affected (50.8%), and 93.3% of cases occurred in people living in scattered rural areas. All lesions corresponded to cutaneous leishmaniasis, of which 251 patients had compromise of the upper limbs (46.6%), 221 of the face (41.0%), and 139 of the lower limbs (25.8%). Pentavalent antimony salts (n-methyl glucamine and sodium stibogluconate) were prescribed in 77.6% (N = 418) of the cases; miltefosine was the second most frequently prescribed medication (21.5%, N = 116). The inhabitants of rural areas and the indigenous communities are at a higher risk of acquiring the infection, particularly among infants, which highlights the importance of the biological, social, and demographic factors involved in the disease. There is a need to seek effective public health actions and further research this disease.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Jorge Enrique Machado-Alba, Grupo de Investigación en Farmcoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira-Audifarma S.A, Paraje la Julita, Pereira, Risaralda 660003, Colombia. E-mail: machado@utp.edu.co

Financial support: The research was funded by the authors.

Authors’ addresses: Diego Alejandro Medina-Morales, Manuel E. Machado-Duque, and Jorge Enrique Machado-Alba, Grupo de Investigación en Farmacoepidemiología y Farmacovigilancia, Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira-Audifarma S.A, Pereira, Risaralda, Colombia, E-mails: dialmedina@gmail.com, memachado@utp.edu.co, and machado@utp.edu.co.

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