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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6931497, 9 pages
Review Article

Potential Challenges of Controlling Leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka at a Disease Outbreak

1Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
2Biotechnology Unit, Industrial Technology Institute, Colombo 7, Sri Lanka

Correspondence should be addressed to Nayana Gunathilaka

Received 1 February 2017; Revised 30 March 2017; Accepted 30 April 2017; Published 28 May 2017

Academic Editor: Daniela Proverbio

Copyright © 2017 Tharaka Wijerathna et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present works reviewed the existing information on leishmaniasis in Sri Lanka and in other countries, focusing on challenges of controlling leishmaniasis in the country, in an outbreak. Evidence from recent studies suggests that there is a possibility of a leishmaniasis outbreak in Sri Lanka in the near future. Difficulty of early diagnosis due to lack of awareness and unavailability or inadequacy of sensitive tests are two of the main challenges for effective case management. Furthermore, the absence of a proper drug for treatment and lack of knowledge about vector biology, distribution, taxonomy and bionomics, and reservoir hosts make the problem serious. The evident potential for visceralization in the cutaneous variant of L. donovani in Sri Lanka may also complicate the issue. Lack of knowledge among local communities also reduces the effectiveness of vector and reservoir host control programs. Immediate actions need to be taken in order to increase scientific knowledge about the disease and a higher effectiveness of the patient management and control programs must be achieved through increased awareness about the disease among general public and active participation of local community in control activities.