Historical overview of infantile visceral leishmaniasis in El Agamy, Alexandria, Egypt

Hala A. Kassem, John C. Beier, Bahira M. El Sawaf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Infantile visceral leishmaniasis (IVL) is considered a rare and neglected disease in Egypt. An outbreak of the disease in El Agamy, Alexandria occurred in 1982 although the disease was previously reported 80 years before. Epidemiological and entomological studies were conducted ever since the 1982 outbreak to identify human cases, the parasite, reservoir host and the sand fly vector. Leishmania infantum MON-98, a new and unique zymodeme, was responsible of the disease. Stray dogs acted as the reservoir host and Phlebotomus langeroni was the proven vector. The parasite isolates from human cases were identical to the parasite isolates from the reservoir host and the sand fly vector. The El Agamy focus in 1982 was basically a rural Bedouin setting of recently built cement houses surrounded by lime stone fences. The numbers of human cases of IVL in this area have been declining, with the last reported case in 2005. This coincides with the completion of irregular urbanization of El Agamy which resulted in the disappearance of P. langeroni. In this review, we characterize the old focus of IVL in El Agamy based on published literature to identify factors underlying the appearance and disappearance of the disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalActa Tropica
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Egypt
  • El Agamy
  • Leishamania infantum
  • Phlebotomus langeroni
  • Urbanization
  • Visceral leishmainiasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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