Evidence of increased risk for leishmania infantum infection among HIV-seronegative intravenous drug users from southern Spain

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2001 May;20(5):354-7. doi: 10.1007/pl00011276.


To assess the prevalence of markers of Leishmania infection, 93 intravenous drug users and 77 nonusers of intravenous drugs underwent a Leishmania skin test and a serum Leishmania antibody search. All participants were human immunodeficiency virus seronegative. The Leishmania skin test was positive in 24 intravenous drug users and in 10 non-users of intravenous drugs (P=0.038). Leishmania seropositivity was detected in 3 of 11 active intravenous drug users and in 3 of 82 former drug injectors (P=0.02). Positivity in the Leishmania skin test was associated with intravenous drug use (adjusted odds ratio, 2.33; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-5.24). The prevalence of Leishmania infection markers among intravenous drug users is higher than that among controls. This suggests that this parasite spreads through the sharing of needles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Female
  • HIV Seronegativity
  • Humans
  • Leishmania infantum*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Male
  • Needle Sharing
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous