[Review of the current situation and the risk factors of Leishmania infantum in Spain]

Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2012 Dec;86(6):555-64. doi: 10.4321/S1135-57272012000600002.
[Article in Spanish]


In Spain, leishmaniasis is an endemic zoonosis present in most of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. The parasite detected is Leishmania infantum and the main reservoir is the dog. Competent vectors to transmit the parasite are sandflies, of which there are two species distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands. This article reviews the current situation and the behaviour of leishmaniasis in Spain. It analyzes and compares information about the disease from hospital discharges and from the National Epidemiological Surveillance Network. It also analyses the risk factors that facilitate transmission identified in previous studies. Since 2009 an outbreak is occurring in the southwest part of the Community of Madrid, with a significant number of cases, about 400 and the detection of a new reservoir, the hare. The conditions that can increase the incidence of leishmaniasis are linked to the increase number of infected vectors, increase sandfly density, increase hosts or the appearance of new reservoirs in a geographic area. This infection has got a complex transmission dynamic. To timely respond to outbreaks a comprehensive and multisectoral action plan should be developed joined by all the institutions involved in the preparation and response. Before an outbreak occurs, it is important to study all the factors affecting the transmission in that place and to adapt the action plan to the specific characteristics.

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Animals
  • Disease Reservoirs / parasitology
  • Disease Reservoirs / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology
  • Dog Diseases / parasitology
  • Dog Diseases / transmission
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Hares / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Leishmania infantum*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / epidemiology*
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / parasitology
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / transmission
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral / veterinary
  • Male
  • Phlebotomus / parasitology
  • Psychodidae / parasitology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / epidemiology
  • Zoonoses / parasitology
  • Zoonoses / transmission