Purpose: Climate changes and immunosuppression are influencing the spread of leishmaniasis and re-emergence in Northern Italy, respectively. We evaluated the prevalence of subclinical leishmaniasis in patients from a Northern Italian region with chronic inflammatory rheumatism (CIRD) receiving biological drugs (BD) and correlated it to the area of residence. Methods: DNA from PBMC of patients affected by CIRD treated with either BD for at least 5 years (Group A) or other immunosuppressive drugs (Group B) was investigated by a qPCR for Leishmania infantum kDNA and compared to healthy subjects (Group C). Variables such as sex and age, rural areas, dog ownership, type of BD administered and association between BD and steroids, were evaluated by statistical analysis. Results: A higher proportion of L. infantum DNA positivity was found in Group A than in Group C (p < 0.05), while no parasite DNA was detected in Group B. In Group A, 18/50 patients (36%) had higher rates of parasite DNA (from 1 to 136 to 1.000.000 copies/ml) than Group C (from 1 to 10 copies/ml). 14/18 (77.7%) of positive patients from Group A lived in rural areas, but no statistical differences occurred in relation to dog ownership or BD type (p < 0.0003). Conclusions: We can speculate that exposure to rural areas appears to be a factor closely linked with the risk of developing Leishmania subclinical infection. A screening with molecular methods in patients with CIRD treated with BD living in these areas and monitoring Leishmania DNA during such therapies, would be mandatory to prevent delay in diagnosis should VL symptoms appear.

Subclinical Leishmania infection in patients with rheumatic diseases under biological drugs

Martina Maritati
Co-primo
;
Alessandro Trentini;Tiziana Bellini;Shawgi Almugadam;Stefania Hanau;Marcello Govoni;Carlo Contini
Co-primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2018

Abstract

Purpose: Climate changes and immunosuppression are influencing the spread of leishmaniasis and re-emergence in Northern Italy, respectively. We evaluated the prevalence of subclinical leishmaniasis in patients from a Northern Italian region with chronic inflammatory rheumatism (CIRD) receiving biological drugs (BD) and correlated it to the area of residence. Methods: DNA from PBMC of patients affected by CIRD treated with either BD for at least 5 years (Group A) or other immunosuppressive drugs (Group B) was investigated by a qPCR for Leishmania infantum kDNA and compared to healthy subjects (Group C). Variables such as sex and age, rural areas, dog ownership, type of BD administered and association between BD and steroids, were evaluated by statistical analysis. Results: A higher proportion of L. infantum DNA positivity was found in Group A than in Group C (p < 0.05), while no parasite DNA was detected in Group B. In Group A, 18/50 patients (36%) had higher rates of parasite DNA (from 1 to 136 to 1.000.000 copies/ml) than Group C (from 1 to 10 copies/ml). 14/18 (77.7%) of positive patients from Group A lived in rural areas, but no statistical differences occurred in relation to dog ownership or BD type (p < 0.0003). Conclusions: We can speculate that exposure to rural areas appears to be a factor closely linked with the risk of developing Leishmania subclinical infection. A screening with molecular methods in patients with CIRD treated with BD living in these areas and monitoring Leishmania DNA during such therapies, would be mandatory to prevent delay in diagnosis should VL symptoms appear.
2018
Maritati, Martina; Trentini, Alessandro; Michel, Gregory; Bellini, Tiziana; Shawgi, Almugadam; Hanau, Stefania; Govoni, Marcello; Marty, Pierre; Contini, Carlo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2392016
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