Leishmaniasis in Cameroon: what is known and is done so far? A protocol for systematic review

BMJ Open. 2021 Apr 2;11(4):e047530. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-047530.

Abstract

Introduction: The first visceral and cutaneous leishmaniasis cases were reported in Cameroon since more than six decades. However, interest in the disease has decreased over time and data on its epidemiology across the country are scanty. This systematic review aims to update data on what is known and done so far on leishmaniasis in Cameroon.

Methods and analysis: PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science will be searched from inception onwards. Grey literature will be identified through Google Scholar searches, dissertation databases and other relevant documents such as report of the National Control Program. Searches will be conducted between January and February 2021. All studies reporting endemicity, distribution, infecting species, vectors and reservoirs will be eligible. The main outcomes will be epidemiological data (infection rate, distribution, infecting species, vectors and animal reservoir), while the secondary outcomes will be the cases management (diagnostic, treatment, reporting, intervention…). Two reviewers will independently screen eligible papers, and potential conflicts will be resolved by involving a third reviewer as an adjudicator. Methodological quality including bias will be appraised using a methodological quality critical appraisal checklist proposed in the Joanna Briggs Institute systematic review methods manual. A narrative synthesis will describe quality and content of the epidemiological evidence. Data on prevalence and vectors will be used to draw thematic maps of the distribution of leishmaniasis in Cameroon.

Ethics and dissemination: This study will not require ethical approval as it will be based on already published or unpublished data. The final report of this review will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, and the outcomes will be used (1) as baseline information to design further studies that will help to better refine the epidemiological situation of leishmaniasis in Cameroon, and (2) to inform both programme managers and policy-makers of the situation of leishmaniasis in the country.

Systematic review registration: This protocol was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic reviews (PROSPERO; registration number: CRD42020211864) database.

Keywords: epidemiology; geographical mapping; parasitology; public health; tropical medicine.