What is Leishmaniasis?
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease that is not transmitted from person to person or from animals to persons. Transmission occurs when a sandfly (the vector insect of this disease) bites an infected animal or person, and then bites a healthy animal or person.
This disease affects the poorest populations in the world and is associated with malnutrition, population displacements, poor housing conditions, lack of resources, and a weak immune system. It is also related to environmental changes, such as deforestation, the construction of dams, irrigation systems and unplanned urbanization.
Leishmaniasis can be treated and cured. Early diagnosis reduces the prevalence of the disease and prevents disability and death, whereas vector control helps reduce or interrupt its transmission.
What does Fundación Mundo Sano do for Leishmaniasis?
To combat this parasitic disease, we work on prevention, by developing actions, programs and projects aligned with our three pillars: translational research, knowledge dissemination and public-private cooperation.
In urban areas of strategic points of Argentina, we have implemented the monitoring of sandflies with the purpose of analysing the population dynamics and carrying out actions for mapping and control of the transmission agent. The data collected are shared with the Argentine Leishmaniasis Research Network (REDILA) and the National Leishmaniasis Program of the National Ministry of Health.
As a result of this work, in 2013, we made an unprecedented finding: we reported the presence of Lutzomyia longipalpis, the vector of visceral leishmaniasis, for the first time in northwestern Argentina.
Regarding research, we conducted a pilot study on new tools for the control of sandflies, in collaboration with the Centre for Pest and Insecticide Research (CIPEIN). In addition, in 2017, we completed the project “Diagnosis of the Situation of Urban Visceral Leishmaniosis in Tartagal”, implemented in partnership with the Carlos III Institute of Spain.