Emergence of visceral leishmaniasis in Kollam district, Kerala, southern India

R. Sandhya, P. S. Rakesh, Soumya Dev


An outbreak investigation was initiated following an unusual occurence of kala azar reported among people residing in the tribal belt of Kulathupuzha area, eastern part of Kollam district, Kerala, Southern India. 2 cases of kala azar were investigated during 2016-2018. Epidemiological analysis indicated no epidemiological link between the cases. However the Visceral leishmaniasis and cutaneous leishmaniasis intruding into newer regions pose a major threat to ongoing leishmaniasis elimination and maintenance programs.


Cross sectional study, Newborn care practices, Rural area

Full Text:



Directorate of National Vector Borne Diseases Control Program. Accelerated plan for Kala-azar elimination, 2017. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. New Delhi.

LohidakshanMU, Shanmugham Pillai SM, Vijayadharan M, Sarojini PA. Two cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis in Trivandrum. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 1988;54:161-2.

Muhammed K, Narayani K, Aravindan KP. Indigenous cutaneous leishmaniasis, Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 1990;56:228-9.

Kumar NP, Srinivasan R, Anish T, Nandakumar G, Jambulingam P. Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania donovani in the tribal population of the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve forest, Western Ghats, Kerala, India. J med microbial. 2015;64:157–63.

Simi SM, Anish TS, Jyothi R, Vijayakumar K, Philip RR. Searching for cutaneous leishmaniasis in tribals from Kerala, India. Glob Infect Dis. 2010;2(2):95-100.

Srinivasan R, Kumar NP, Jambulingam P. Detection of natural infection of Leishmania donovani (Kinetoplastida: Trypanosomatidae) in Phlebotomusargentipes (Diptera: Psychodidae) from a forest ecosystem in the Western Ghats, India, endemic for cutaneous leishmaniasis. Acta tropica. 2016;156:95-99.

Kesavan A, Parvathy VK, Thomas S, Sudha SP. Indigenous visceral leishmaniasis: two cases from Kerala. Indian Pediatrics. 2003;40:373-4.

Chandran P, Thavody J, Lilabi MP, Rao B, Nair MS, Shamin PR. Visceral leishmaniasis in Kerala: an emerging disease. National J Community Med. 2016;7(8):722-6.