Factors associated with relapse and hospital death in patients coinfected with visceral leishmaniasis and HIV: a longitudinal study

BMC Infect Dis. 2023 Mar 7;23(1):141. doi: 10.1186/s12879-023-08009-1.


Objective: Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is an endemic parasitic disease in Latin America, and its clinical picture is aggravated in coinfections with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The objective of this study was to investigate clinical factors and laboratory variables associated with VL relapse and death in VL/HIV coinfected patients.

Methods: A prospective longitudinal study was conducted from January 2013 to July 2020 among 169 patients coinfected with VL and HIV. The outcomes investigated were the occurrence of VL relapse and death. Chi-square test, Mann-Whitney test and logistic regression models were used for statistical analysis.

Results: The occurrence rates were 41.4% for VL relapse and 11.2% for death. Splenomegaly and adenomegaly were associated with the increased risk of VL relapse. Patients with VL relapse had higher levels of urea (p = .005) and creatinine (p < .001). Patients who died had lower red blood cell counts (p = .012), hemoglobin (p = .017) and platelets (p < .001). The adjusted model showed that antiretroviral therapy for more than 6 months was associated with a decrease in VL relapse, and adenomegaly was associated with an increase in VL relapse. In addition, edema, dehydration, poor general health status, and paleness were associated with an increase in hospital death.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that adenomegaly, antiretroviral therapy, and renal abnormalities can be associated with VL relapse, while hematological abnormalities, and clinical manifestations like paleness, and edema can be associated with an increased odds of hospital death.

Trial registration number: The study was submitted to the Ethics and Research Committee of the Federal University of Maranhão (Protocol: 409.351).

Keywords: Brazil; Death; HIV; Recurrence; Visceral leishmaniasis.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Coinfection*
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / complications
  • Leishmaniasis, Visceral* / drug therapy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Prospective Studies