Urban parasitology: visceral leishmaniasis in Brazil.
Harhay MO., Olliaro PL., Costa DL., Costa CHN.
Since the early 1980s, visceral leishmaniasis (VL) which is, in general, a rural zoonotic disease, has spread to the urban centers of the north, and now the south and west of Brazil. The principal drivers differ between cities, though human migration, large urban canid populations (animal reservoir), and a decidedly peripatetic and adaptable sand fly vector are the primary forces. The exact number of urban cases remains unclear as a result of challenges with surveillance. However, the number of urban cases registered continues to increase annually. Most control initiatives (e.g. culling infected dogs and household spraying to kill the sand fly) could be effective, but have proven hard to maintain at large scales due to logistical, financial and other reasons. In this article, the urbanization of VL in Brazil is reviewed, touching on these and other topics related to controlling VL within and outside Brazil.