Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-54

Immuno-epidemiology of leishmanial infection among tribal population in kala-azar endemic areas: A community based study

1 Department of Epidemiology, Community Health Cell, Bangalore, Karnataka; School of Public Health, SRM University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Health, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Protozoology, School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Calcutta, West Bengal, India
4 Department of Community Health, Sadar Hospital, Godda, Jharkhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajan R Patil
Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, SRM University, Potheri, Kattankulathur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: Community Health Cell Bangalore, Dr. Nalini Abraham, Delhi., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.115193

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Objective: Immuno-epidemiology of kala-azar in terms of Leishmanial infection rates among specified age groups in tribal community, Utility of some diagnostic tools in eliciting evidence of recent and past infection. Materials and Methods: A cross sectional study among tribal communities, using Leishmanin skin test (LST) and direct agglutination test (DAT). Results: The prevalence leishmanial infection was found to be 44.4% past infection (LST positivity) and the prevalence of recent infection 44% (DAT positivity), respectively. The annual rate of infection in age groups up to 40 years was 3-5%. Statistical association was significant only for the effect of age on LST c 2 = 16.83 (P<.05) OR = .14 [95% CI= .05 to .42]. Associations with other important variables like sex, fever, spleen, family size were insignificant for both LST and DAT. Conclusion: Kala-azar infection rates are high in the tribal communities of Jharkhand. There was no association found between LST and DAT results. The DAT seropositivity to leishmanial infection in any age group is an indication of individual's experience with the leishmanial infection. One can't conclude for the active disease based on the seropositivity since the antibody levels (IgG) remain high even in a disease-free state.

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