A 6 day course of liposomal amphotericin B in the treatment of infantile visceral leishmaniasis: the Italian experience

J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 Jul;54(1):217-20. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkh279. Epub 2004 May 18.


Objectives: To evaluate in a retrospective analysis the efficacy and safety of a 6 day course of liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) in infantile cases of Mediterranean visceral leishmaniasis (VL) diagnosed over a 10 year period in Italy.

Patients and methods: Patients included were diagnosed as having VL consecutively admitted from December 1992 to December 2001 at four main referral children's hospitals in Italy and treated with six intravenous doses of 3 mg/kg L-AmB given on days 1-5 and 10 (a total dose of 18 mg/kg). Demographic data, nutritional status, underlying diseases, clinical and laboratory findings, and therapy outcome were considered.

Results: A total of 164 HIV-negative children (median age 1.6 years; range 4 months to 14 years) were enrolled. All patients were initially cured by the given treatment, and did not present adverse events related to drug infusion. Seven patients (4.3%) had a clinical and parasitological relapse 3-15 months after therapy. All relapses were successfully retreated with 3 mg/kg L-AmB for 10 consecutive days (a total dose of 30 mg/kg).

Conclusions: This study highlights the efficacy (>95%) and safety of the six dose L-AmB regimen and validates it as a first-line treatment for Mediterranean VL in children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amphotericin B / administration & dosage
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use*
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bone Marrow / parasitology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Carriers
  • Female
  • Fever / etiology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Italy
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / drug therapy*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / parasitology
  • Liposomes
  • Male
  • Nutritional Status
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Drug Carriers
  • Liposomes
  • Amphotericin B