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Journal of Parasitology Research
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 239469, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/239469
Review Article

Developments in Diagnosis of Visceral Leishmaniasis in the Elimination Era

Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 221005, India

Received 16 October 2015; Revised 6 December 2015; Accepted 14 December 2015

Academic Editor: Barbara Papadopoulou

Copyright © 2015 Om Prakash Singh and Shyam Sundar. 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.

Abstract

Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is the most devastating parasitic infection worldwide causing high morbidity and mortality. Clinical presentation of VL ranges from asymptomatic or subclinical infection to severe and complicated symptomatic disease. A major challenge in the clinical management of VL is the weakness of health systems in disease endemic regions. People affected by VL mostly present to primary health care centers (PHCs), often late in their therapeutic itinerary. PHC physicians face a major challenge: they do not deal with a single disease issue but with patients presenting with complaints pointing to several diagnostic possibilities. Risk exists when some patients having less clinical manifestations are misdiagnosed. Therefore, field based accurate, sensitive, and cost effective rapid diagnostic tools that can detect disease in its mildest form are essential for effective control and reaching the goal of VL elimination. In this review, we discuss the current status and challenges of various diagnostic tools for the diagnosis of VL and assess their application in resource poor settings.