Visceral leishmaniasis (VL) is a serious parasitic disease, causing high morbidity and mortality in the developing world. The pathogenesis of VL is complex, and the clinical presentation ranges from asymptomatic infection to severe and fatal disease. Despite a wealth of research on the full-blown "clinical VL" syndrome, asymptomatic leishmania infections remain poorly understood. Asymptomatic infection could present a major challenge for control programs if its infectiousness is confirmed. In this viewpoint, we highlight the crucial knowledge gaps as well as the obstacles in research on asymptomatic leishmanial infection. Research in this area is essential for the development of more-effective VL control strategies.