Risk factors for visceral leishmaniasis in India: further evidence on the role of domestic animals

SP Singh, E Hasker, A Picado, K Gidwani, P Malaviya, RP Singh, M Boelaert, S Sundar

    Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


    Summary Objective Studies investigating risk factors for visceral leishmaniasis (VL) on the Indian Subcontinent have shown contradictory results related to the role of domestic animals. In some studies having animals in or around the house was a risk factor, in others it was protective. We investigated the specific hypothesis that keeping domestic animals inside the house at night is a risk factor for VL. Methods Individually matched case-control study. All patients with VL diagnosed in the study area in Bihar, India between March 1st, 2007 and December 1st, 2008 were eligible. For each case, we selected two random controls, with no history of previous VL; matched on sex, age group and neighbourhood. Patients and controls were subjected to a structured interview on the main exposure of interest and potential confounders; a conditional logistic regression model was used to analyse the data. Results We enrolled 141 patients and 282 controls. We found no significant associations between VL and keeping domestic animals inside the house (OR of 0.88 for bovines and 1.00 for 'any animal') or ownership of domestic animals (OR of 0.97 for bovines and 1.02 for 'any animal'). VL was associated with housing conditions. Living in a thatched house (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.50-4.48) or in a house with damp floors (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.25-5.41) were risk factors, independently from socio economic status. Conclusion Keeping animals inside the house is not a risk factor for VL in Bihar, India. Improving housing conditions for the poor has the potential to reduce VL incidence
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
    Issue numberSuppl. 2
    Pages (from-to)29-35
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Protozoal diseases
    • Visceral
    • Leishmaniasis
    • Kala azar
    • Leishmania donovani
    • Vectors
    • Sandflies
    • Disease transmission
    • Risk factors
    • Domestic animals
    • Bovines
    • Associations
    • Housing
    • India
    • Asia-South


    Dive into the research topics of 'Risk factors for visceral leishmaniasis in India: further evidence on the role of domestic animals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this