Importance of worldwide asymptomatic carriers of Leishmania infantum (L. chagasi) in human

Acta Trop. 2011 Aug;119(2-3):69-75. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2011.05.012. Epub 2011 Jun 6.


Leishmaniasis due to Leishmania infantum (syn. L. chagasi) infection is a zoonotic disease present mainly in Mediterranean basin, central Asia and Brazil. Besides a limited number of human cases of clinical visceral leishmaniasis, a great number of infections remains asymptomatic. In this review, the prevalence of asymptomatic carriers of L. infantum was evaluated worldwide using parasitological methods or indirect testing such as a skin test or serology. The consequences of the presence of asymptomatic carriers on parasite transmission by blood donation or the development of clinical visceral leishmaniasis in immunocompromised individuals and its possible role as reservoir are discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia, Central / epidemiology
  • Asymptomatic Infections / epidemiology*
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Carrier State / epidemiology*
  • Carrier State / transmission
  • Disease Reservoirs
  • Humans
  • Leishmania infantum / isolation & purification*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Mediterranean Region / epidemiology
  • Prevalence