Molecular diagnostic intervention in elimination campaigns for visceral leishmaniasis

Year of award: 2015


  • Dr Emily Adams

    Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Project summary

The London Declaration set a target for elimination of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in 2012, but data clearly show that elimination targets will not be reached by only diagnosing those who seek healthcare. Elimination is reliant on alternative diagnostic tests that are able to detect active leishmania. Much of the epidemiology of VL, including infection in asymptomatic patients, is unknown. A proven method of detection of active infection in asymptomatic patients would enable epidemiological research to better guide effective interventions. The simplified molecular diagnostic, LAMP, is capable of identifying people who are actively infected with leishmania regardless of disease status.

We aim to evaluate LAMP in a VL programmatic context, assess diagnostic accuracy for early diagnosis and test LAMP on near neighbours of index cases. These scoping studies will deliver evidence on the potential of LAMP to overcome existing deficiencies in VL diagnostics.

This study will seed future funding to redefine the epidemiology of VL, improve the design of effective interventions and monitor and evaluate programmatic end points.