Risk factors for kala-azar in Bangladesh

Caryn Bern, Allen W. Hightower, Rajib Chowdhury, Mustakim Ali, Josef Amann, Yukiko Wagatsuma, Rashidul Haque, Katie Kurkjian, Louise E. Vaz, Moarrita Begum, Tangin Akter, Catherine B. Cetre-Sossah, Indu B. Ahluwalia, Ellen Dotson, W. Evan Secor, Robert F. Breiman, James H. Maguire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Since 1990, South Asia has experienced a resurgence of kala-azar (visceral leishmaniasis). To determine risk factors for kala-azar, we performed cross-sectional surveys over a 3-year period in a Bangladeshi community. By history, active case detection, and serologic screening, 155 of 2,356 residents had kala-azar with onset from 2000 to 2003. Risk was highest for persons 3-45 years of age, and no significant difference by sex was seen. In age-adjusted multivariable models, 3 factors were identified: proximity to a previous kala-azar patient (odds ratio [OR] 25.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 15-44 within household; OR 3.2 95% CI 1.7-6.1 within 50 m), bed net use in summer (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.53-0.93), and cattle per 1,000 m2 (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.70-0.94]). No difference was seen by income, education, or occupation; land ownership or other assets; housing materials and condition; or keeping goats or chickens inside bedrooms. Our data confirm strong clustering and suggest that insecticide-treated nets could be effective in preventing kala-azar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-662
Number of pages8
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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