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Leishmaniases in Greece

During the last 35 years, visceral leishmaniasis has spread in Greece with autochthonous human cases appearing in 41 of the 54 prefectures. The occurrence of the disease was mapped and related to dog seropositivity, environmental and geospatial risk factors. Average dog seropositivity was 22.1% and positive animals were found in 43 of 54 prefectures.

Re-Emergence of Visceral and Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in the Greek Island of Crete

Leishmaniases are vector-borne diseases transmitted by phlebotomine sand flies. Three species of Leishmania are found in the Mediterranean basin: Leishmania infantum, the most common species responsible for both visceral (VL) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL); Leishmania major, found in North Africa and Middle East causing CL; Leishmania tropica with a limited presence in Europe, causing CL. 

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Leishmaniases and the Cyprus Paradox

In Cyprus, leishmaniasis has been considered exclusively a veterinary problem. It was prevalent before 1945, and until its recent reemergence, it was nearly eradicated by 1996 as a consequence of the destruction of reservoir hosts and vectors. A survey carried out to provide an unbiased estimate of current transmission rates in dogs and humans showed a 9-fold increase in dog seroprevalence (reaching 14.9%) compared with 10 years ago. 

Leishmania donovani leishmaniasis in Cyprus

Nicole Léger and Jérôme Depaquit emphasise “the importance of preventing an extension of this anthroponotic species in Europe”,1 a point also stressed by Dujardin et al,2 since leishmaniasis is not placed under public health surveillance in Europe.We certainly agree with the authors that the indigenous transmission of Leishmania donovani to Cyprus needs to be proven, since the possibility of the invasion of Cyprus by anthropophilic L donovani vectors... 

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A Platform for experts to develop and test evidence based strategies for the treatment and control of Leishmaniasis.

 

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