Background: Despite high prevalence of visceral leishmaniasis and malaria in the study area, their coinfection remains unknown. Therefore, this study was aimed to document VL-malaria coinfections and their associated factors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among clinical suspected VL patients attending Metema hospital, Northwest Ethiopia, from January 2014 to June 2014. Blood sample was tested by rk39 antigen-based DiaMed IT-Leish dipstick and Giemsa stain microscopic examination of thick and thin blood smears for malaria detection was performed.
Result: A total of 384 VL suspected patients were included in the study. Out of these, the prevalence of VL was 83 (21.6%) while the prevalence of malaria was 45 (11.7%). Of malaria cases, 40 (89%) were positive for P. falciparum and 5 (11%) positive for P. vivax. The overall prevalence of VL-malaria coinfection was 16 (4.2%). One-hundred eighty (46.9%) study participants have history of travel. Of these, 10 (5.6%) have VL-malaria coinfections. Age less than 5 years was associated with VL-malaria coinfection.
Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of performing malaria screening amongst VL patients living in malaria-endemic areas, particularly in patients under five years.