Epidemiological aspects and spatial distribution of human and canine visceral leishmaniasis in an endemic area in northeastern Brazil

Roseane Campos, Márcio Santos, Gabriel Tunon, Luana Cunha, Lucas Magalhães, Juliana Moraes, Danielle Ramalho, Sanmy Lima, José Antônio Pacheco, Michael Lipscomb, Amélia Ribeiro De Jesus, Roque Pacheco De Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a systemic disease endemic in tropical countries and transmitted through sand flies. In particular, Canis familiaris (or domesticated dogs) are believed to be a major urban reservoir for the parasite causing the disease Leishmania. The average number of human VL cases was 58 per year in the state of Sergipe. The city of Aracaju, capital of Sergipe in Northeastern Brazil, had 159 cases of VL in humans. Correlatively, the percentage of serologically positive dogs for leishmaniasis increased from 4.73% in 2008 to 12.69% in 2014. Thus, these studies aimed to delineate the spatial distribution and epidemiological aspects of human and canine VL as mutually supportive for increased incidence. The number of human cases of VL and the frequency of canine positive serology for VL both increased between 2008 and 2014. Spatial distribution analyses mapped areas of the city with the highest concentration of human and canine VL cases. The neighbourhoods that showed the highest disease frequency were located on the outskirts of the city and in urbanised areas or subjected to development. Exponential increase in VL-positive dogs further suggests that the disease is expanding in urban areas, where it can serve as a reservoir for transmission of dogs to humans via the sand fly vector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number503
JournalGeospatial Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the municipal health office and zoonoses control center in Aracaju-SE. This work was supported by Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Edital N° 032/2010 (ARJ); CNPq). Grants: PROCAD/CASADINHO-n°552721/2011-5 (RPA). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© F. Niragire et al., 2017 Licensee PAGEPress, Italy.


  • Brazil
  • Dog diseases
  • Epidemiological monitoring
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Spatial distribution


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